China has increased its holdings of euro debt, including Spanish debt, and has confidence in the European financial markets, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.
China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang has said his country is willing to buy about 6 billion euros ($7.86 billion) of Spanish public debt, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported earlier on Thursday, citing government sources.
The sources told El Pais Li had said at a meeting that China is willing to buy as much Spanish public debt as Greek and Portuguese debt combined.
They said that added up to about 6 billion euros in Spanish government bonds.
Li leaves Madrid today, where he has been on a three-day visit, before visiting the United Kingdom and Germany.
The report echo remarks by Li earlier this week, although the report is the first to give a figure.
"China is a responsible, long-term investor in the European financial market and particularly in Spain, and we have confidence in the Spanish financial market, which has meant the acquisition of its public debt, something which we will continue to do in the future," Li wrote in an editorial in El Pais on Monday.
Spain has come under increasing pressure from international debt markets on concerns it may be forced to follow Greece and Ireland and seek an EU or International Monetary Fund bailout, but while bond yields have risen, demand for Spanish debt remains solid.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.