Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Effects of the debt crisis on the EU-China relations

Mező, Júlia and Udvari, Beáta (2012): Effects of the debt crisis on the EU-China relations. Published in: Crisis Aftermath: Economic policy changes in the EU and its Member States, Conference Proceedings, Szeged, University of Szeged , Vol. ISBN 9, (2012): pp. 440-455.

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The economic (debt) crisis has become serious in the EU and in the Eurozone especially in the last few months. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was created as an instrument to handle this situation. But the financial contributions of the EU Member States seem not to be enough and China appears as a potential contributor. It is often cited that China offered Portugal and Spain in March 2011 to support their crisis management. However, recently, there are attempts from the side of the EU to convince China take part in the EFSF. Thus the question raised often in Europe is the following: Will China contribute to the EFSF? If yes, what conditions will the country raise? What are the arguments of the Chinese capital both in China and the EU? Consequently, our research is focusing on the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the new relations between the European Union and China.

China’s enormous reserves enable the Asian financial assistance to European countries in crisis management but there are a number of questions related to this. The main findings of this study are that China can benefit from its European crisis management from many aspects, as the EU is the largest market for the Chinese products. Furthermore, reserve currency diversification and political considerations cannot be neglected, either. But the assistance may have serious risks for China: not only the expected return on investment is at a stake, but internal social and political tensions can emerge from helping the Europeans who still live in significantly higher wealth than most of the Chinese people.

Adopting Chinese capital raises questions for the European Union, as well. China may impose such terms by which the EU may become vulnerable and get into a dependent position, then presumably it will be difficult to solve the cooperation.

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