18 Sep '11, 10pm

TODAYonline | World | Why China is wooing Europe via @feedly

LISBON - When a nervous horse unseated its cavalry officer at a red-carpet event during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Portugal last year, the leader of the world's second-largest economy broke with protocol and walked over to the bruised guardsman. "I hope you get well soon," Mr Hu told him through an interpreter. The public display of compassion was in keeping with China's European charm offensive in recent years. It has waved its cheque book at a growing number of Europe's debt-stricken countries, who swoon over China's US$3.2-trillion (S$4-trillion) cash pile, the world's biggest foreign exchange reserves. Join the dots, Beijing-watchers say, and China's strategy becomes clear: It wants to use its economic leverage to make friends who may be more forgiving in disputes over trade and human rights and ensure doors are open for its goods and corporate invest...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110919-0000291/Why-Ch...

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