Chinese PM urges West to ‘put its own house in order’

The Chinese Prime Minister has called on developed nations to sort out their own affairs rather than rely on China as the savior of the world economy.

“Countries must first put their own houses in order,” Wen Jiabao said addressing the World Economic Forum held in the Chinese city of Dalian, as quoted by Bloomberg. “Developed countries must draw up responsible fiscal and monetary policies. What is most important now is to prevent the further spread of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.”

The Chinese premiere urged European states and the United States to allow more Chinese investment in their economies, saying that China is ready to do so. He also called for closer cooperation in managing the global economy. 

"We need to modify and enhance the pertinence, flexibility and perspective of our policies according to the fast-changing global economy," Wen Jiabao said. "We need to maintain the general stability of price levels and prevent economic upheaval to fully achieve this year's economic and social development goals."

According to William Rhodes, a senior adviser to Citigroup Inc., China wishes to avoid direct involvement in European affairs.

“What he is basically saying is China wants to help, they want to invest, but we can’t help you take the proper measures to control the debt crisis, you’ve got to do that on your own,” he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

Western governments have increasingly been looking to China for investment. In a recent development, the Italian finance minister reportedly met with Chinese officials against a backdrop of speculation that Italy wants Beijing to buy its bonds or invest in its companies. Rome has yet to comment on the outcome of the talks, AP reports. 

Francis Lun from investment company Lyncean Holdings Limited, agreed with the Chinese premier that from now on EU politicians must act more responsibly. 

“[EU] politicians have been paying their budget deficits by selling bonds, in other words mortgaging, or charging the future,” he said.  “Sooner or later that catches up with you, and 2011 is the year that the debt finally catches up with several European countries like Greece and Italy. So they have got to put their houses in order. They have to spend what they have, but not spend more than they have.”