Merkel ends China trip with aid to Europe uncertain

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on February 3, 2012 in Beijing, China. Europe is hoping to get help with their debt from China.

Adriene Hill: Now to China, where leaders say they'll consider doing more to help resolve the European debt crisis. But, when it comes to how much to help, China is treading very cafefully.

Marketplace China bureau chief Rob Schmitz reports.

Rob Schmitz: Premier Wen Jiabao says China wants to help solve the EU debt crisis. But how much money China will contribute is anybody’s guess.

William Hess: I think it’ll be significant, but it won’t put china in the position of being a savior to the EU.

William Hess is director of PRC Macro Advisors in Beijing. Hess says China’s trying to figure out the magic amount it’ll take to gain political favors from the EU in return. Favors like easing trade restrictions and curbing WTO complaints against China. Hess says Beijing’s in a tough position.

Hess: Big spending to bail out welfare states in Europe when China’s social safety net is still weak—it just doesn’t look very good.

It’s not looking good to Shen Ying, a 30 year-old deliveryman in Shanghai.

Shen Ying: This is the people’s money and they’re wasting it. If we give the Europeans money, this will improve their goods and resources. Then we’ll have to buy those goods at higher prices. In the end, all the money ends up in the hands of the foreigners.

And for Shen and for millions of other Chinese, that doesn’t seem fair.

In Shanghai, I’m Rob Schmitz for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent, based in Shanghai.


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