Global powerhouse China is "very concerned" about the turmoil in Europe, Australia said, and will push for the world's leading economies to make a commitment to growth at the G20 summit in Mexico.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr met with top Chinese officials, including counterpart Yang Jiechi, in Beijing this week and said with the Chinese economy slowing, there were real worries over Europe.
Asked by ABC television late Thursday whether the possibility of a Greek exit from the eurozone figured in his discussions with the Chinese, Carr replied: "Yes".
"The Chinese are very concerned about political and resultant economic instability in Europe," he said.
"Their economy has had a quarter of lower-than-expected economic growth... and given the goal of containing inflation, it has a positive side.
"Nonetheless, they did ask for cooperation from Australia at the forthcoming G20 summit to see that we persuade, Australia and China working together, the rest of the world's leading economies to make a commitment for growth."
The concerns came as Spain tumbled into recession and Greece installed a crisis government to organise its second election in six weeks.
A succession of bleak numbers have raised fears China's economy is cooling faster than previously thought.
Growth fell to 8.1 percent in the first quarter from 9.7 percent a year earlier as domestic demand drops and Europe's debt woes curb business activity.
The government has set a growth target of 7.5 percentfor 2012, fearing that anything below that level could trigger mass unemployment and cause widespread unrest in the world's second-largest economy.
"They are concerned that what's happening in Europe represents a threat to continued growth," Carr said.
"And again, this emphasises the fact that whatever issues at this moment cause Australia and China to have a robust exchange from opposite viewpoints, we've got a vastly bigger agenda where we are on the same side."
Mining-driven Australia was the only advanced nation to dodge recession during the global downturn, and it is again set to lead the major economies by becoming the first to return its budget to surplus.
Mexico holds the G20 presidency this year and leaders from the advanced and emerging economies will meet in Los Cabos on June 18-19.