China is doing everything it can to support the euro currency.
During last year’s European debt crisis, it started with verbally reiterating its commitment to buy euro-denominated debt. When things got really bad, it stepped up its buying of the euro currency, Spanish bonds, and Greek bonds. By putting its money where its mouth was, China effectively saved the euro, according to billionaire investor George Soros.
In 2011, China continued to show support. It has so far promised to keep buying Portuguese and Spanish bonds. In a recent speech, Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao said “when Europe is in difficulty [China] will extend a helping hand from afar.”
Previously, a Chinese official said “saving the euro is akin to saving globalization.” He said the euro fills the role of a second “international currency” and has “played a key role in the international monetary system, allowing investors to diversify their portfolios and disperse risks in the global markets.”
China desperately wants to have an alternative to the US dollar. Chinese officials have recently lashed out against the Federal Reserve‘s policy of money printing and expressed serious doubts about the attractiveness of dollar holdings as a result. Its worst nightmare is for the euro to collapse and have the US dollar solidify its monopoly as the only major international currency. Over the last few decades, the US has arguably abused this monopoly by running up huge trade deficits and operating with an ultra-loose monetary policy.
The euro, since its introduction, has offered some buffer against the US dollar monopoly. It’s the only alternative because Japan is too small, the UK is too small, and China doesn’t want to open up and float its currency. The euro is China’s only defense against the monopolistic powers of the US dollar and it will do all it can to keep the currency alive.