China's top central banker on Wednesday expressed confidence in the euro and pledged to continue buying European sovereign debt, as the Asian giant seeks to shore up support for its biggest trading partner.
Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan also repeated remarks by Premier Wen Jiabao that China was ready to get more involved in efforts to resolve the eurozone debt crisis, which is hurting demand for its exports.
"As Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday at the China-EU summit, China will... continue to invest in European government bonds and will continue... to get more involved in solving the European debt crisis," Zhou said.
"We have confidence in the euro," he added, during a speech at the opening of a euro exhibition in Beijing also attended by European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Wen told the European leaders on Tuesday that Beijing was considering using the International Monetary Fund and Europe's bailout funds to help address the continent's fiscal woes, without elaborating further.
Van Rompuy said Wednesday that European leaders "highly value" China's confidence in the region and vowed to do everything necessary to "maintain the euro and the financial stability of the eurozone".
China has made clear its growing concerns over the crisis in Europe, repeatedly urging EU leaders to get a grip on the situation, which the foreign ministry said this week had reached a "critical juncture".
Barroso said Europe was "putting our house in order" but noted it was a long process.
"This is a marathon not a sprint," he said Wednesday.
European leaders last year approached China, which holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, to invest in a bailout fund to rescue debt-stricken states.
So far China has made no firm commitment, but Zhou said Wednesday that the Asian powerhouse had not reduced the proportion of its investments in euro-denominated assets during the crisis.
"We believe that so long as all the European nations can solidify themselves together they will have the ability to solve the problems they face," Zhou said.