The eurozone could collapse if its member countries don't work together to solve its debt crisis, but China is pleased to see that Germany and France are cooperating to avert that risk, a Chinese vice foreign minister said in an interview.
China's leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao, have repeatedly expressed confidence in the eurozone, though officials and media commentary have also reflected anxieties about Europe's economic prospects.
On Monday, China's leading official newspaper likened the eurozone debt crisis to the Black Death, days before French President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.
Speaking to a German magazine last week, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said that problems of the euro had been a subject of discussion between her colleagues.
Though the West is experiencing difficulties, Europe and the United States have triumphed over many hardships in the past, Fu said, according to a transcript of the interview released by the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday on its Web site (www.mfa.gov.cn).
Whether the West's economy can rebound will have a close bearing on China. Our level of interdependence is very high, and damage to the West does not mean that China gains. We are all in the same boat. We are certainly worried about the West's economic difficulties.
So this week's piece of good news was Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy's joint declaration on this issue, she added, referring to France and Germany's unveiling of plans last week for closer euro zone integration.
Recently my colleagues and I have discussed the European Union's future, said Fu, who is responsible for China's relations with Europe.
Everyone's basic viewpoint is that if European countries can hand-in-hand resolve the problems, the EU will continue to progress and further integrate, otherwise the euro zone could collapse, she added.
About a quarter of China's record foreign currency reserves of more than $3 trillion are held in euro assets, analysts estimate.
The 27-member EU bloc is China's biggest trade partner, with bilateral trade in goods in 2010 reaching 395 billion euros ($570 billion), a rise of 13.9 percent, according to EU statistics. Chinese exports to the EU reached 281.9 billion euros in 2010, a rise of 18.9 percent on 2009.
The EU's economic problems have also led to political and social turmoil in some member states.
But Fu said she wasn't worried about political stability in China should the crisis spread there.
When Western governments suffer economic crisis, do you worry about your own political system? So why should we have such worries? she asked.