Close-up: Debt crisis and airline tax to top EU-China summit

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Close-up: Debt crisis and airline tax to top EU-China summit

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Europe’s decision to place a carbon charge on all incoming flights will be just one of a number of tricky issues dominating this week’s EU-China summit. Beijing strongly opposes the levy and has banned its airlines from joining the scheme.

Iran and Syria are also likely to feature in talks. European leaders are sure to want assurances that China will not buy Tehran’s surplus oil once an EU embargo kicks in. If that was not enough, the backdrop to the summit remains Europe’s on-going debt crisis.

Hua Chunying from China’s Foreign Ministry said: “We are still lacking a high level of understanding and trust. I notice there are some suspicions from different voices on the EU side towards China’s rescue of the euro. We know that there are some (who are) demanding that China should do more to help Europe, while there are some saying: ‘Is China coming to buy up Europe?’ So, we are quite careful.”

But could Beijing really ride to Europe’s rescue by pumping cash into eurozone bailout funds? It seems some EU officials are pushing for more Chinese support even if they may have concerns.

“We expect China to behave in a way which would be compatible with its own objective interests and praising the way in which Europe still represents an important destination for its exports since China would like very much to keep and expand the level of our trade and economic relations,” said Viorel Isticioaia Budura, the EU’s Director for the Asia-Pacific region.

For its part, Beijing continues to say it has no intention of ‘‘buying up’‘ a debt-ridden Europe even if believes the bloc’s economic problems have reached a “critical juncture”.

To get more insight on the summit between European and Chinese leaders euronews spoke to Professor Martin Jacques, author of ‘When China rules the world’.

To see the full interview, click on the link above.