[QODLink]
Inside Story
China's influence in Europe
China is helping Spain through their economic recovery, but some suspect that China is simply buying European influence.
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2011 09:10 GMT

Li Keqiang, China's vice premier, began the first leg of his European tour on Tuesday, starting with a three-day visit to Spain, and the unlikely allies are set to announce a series of economic agreements.

China has vowed to buy Spain's government debt in a multi-million dollar investment, as well as deals involving the energy sector, telecommunications - even olive oil, ham and wine exports to the world's second-largest economy.

Spain's finances are in bad shape, and there have been fears that an Irish- or Greek-style bailout may be needed. However, in an opinion piece in the leading Spanish newspaper, El Pais, Li is pledging that China will come to the rescue.

"China supports Spain in the series of economic and financial adjustment measures it has adopted, and is convinced of the certainty of the full recovery of the Spanish economy ... China is a responsible long-term investor, both in the European and the Spanish financial markets," said Li.

But what is really behind Beijing's move? Is China buying political influence in Europe?

Inside Story, with presenter James Bays, discusses with Joseph Cheng, a professor of political science at the City University of Hong Kong, Roger Nightingale, an economist and strategist, and Banning Garrett, the director of the Asia Programme at think tank The Atlantic Council US.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, January 5, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.