Greece might end up turning to China as a last resort to find financial aid if negotiations with creditors fail, a BBC report says.
According to a report from Shanghai by John Sudworth, the recent tightening of Greece-China relations might indicate that Athens is looking to Beijing for more than trade deals.
The recent visit of Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Kotzias to Beijing and the invitation Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras received to formally visit Beijing in the next few months enhance the scenario that China might lend Greece the much needed funds.
The reporter says that these visits might simply mean that China is interested in buying Greek state assets at a good price now that Greece is strapped for cash and is in need of privatizations. However, rumors that Athens might ask China for financial aid have reached Beijing.
China has expressed interest in investing in Greece, with Chinese company Cosco already owing a part of Piraeus Port. Cosco is interested in buying the rest of the shares if the Greek government decides to sell.
Also, China’s economic interests lie in Greece remaining in the euro zone. Chinese officials have expressed worry about Greece’s possible exit from the common currency bloc. A Grexit would create political and economic turmoil that will upset China’s investment plans. Thereby, it is also in Beijing’s interest to aid Greece at this critical moment.