Business, Finance & Economics

Will China save Europe? Not so fast


Dancers perform a dragon dance on the Great Wall in Badaling, China, about 50 miles north of Beijing on August 5, 2008.


Carl De Souza

There's been plenty of speculation lately that China — and to a lesser extent Brazil — will race to the rescue of a faltering, debt-ridden Europe.

That line of reasoning gained more credence after the head of the EU's emergency rescue fund — the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) — traveled to Beijing last week ahead of Europe's big bailout announcement.

But World Bank President Robert Zoellick says not so fast.

Here's what he told reporters in Brussels today, according to the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog:

“One of the misleading paths is to assume for any of these countries that somebody else is going to bail you out and solve your own problems,” he said. “I don’t think that, for example in the euro zone, people should be looking for a silver bullet from the Chinese when the per capita income in China is about $4,000 a person, and it’s about $38,000 in Europe.”

So what should the Europeans do, according to Zoellick? Save themselves, of course:

“The picture is pretty clear,” he told reporters. “Europeans are going to have to be the principal agents in solving Europe’s problems.”

For more from Thomas Mucha on Twitter: