UPDATE 1-Chinese clout seen in Brazil, Greece, Spain meetings

* Brazil, Greece, Spain ministers in China for trade,

* Brazil to push for more balanced trade, less talk on yuan

* Greek minister says China helping itself by buying Greek

(Adds byline, bullet points)

By Simon Rabinovitch

BEIJING, April 12 (Reuters) – China’s growing global
economic footprint was on display on Tuesday, with a Greek
minister saying Beijing will help his country overcome its debt
crisis and a Brazilian official brandishing a big jet order from
Chinese airlines.

A parade of foreign leaders are in China this week to attend
a summit of BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and
South Africa — and the Boao business forum on the southern
Chinese island of Hainan.

Even before those get underway, a series of important
bilateral meetings were set for Tuesday with Brazilian President
Dilma Rousseff, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero and Greek Investment Minister Harris Pamboukis all in

The visits revealed the divergent paths of nations in the
wake of the global financial crisis and China’s surge to
prominence as a partner and a competitor.

Brazil has been a major beneficiary of China’s voracious
appetite for commodities, but its manufacturers have grown
alarmed at a wave of Chinese imports.

That will likely be on Rousseff’s mind when she pushes
Beijing to buy more value-added goods from Brazil instead of
just soaking up its commodities, whilst gently broaching the
subject of an undervalued yuan. [ID:nN07149192].

In a deal that looked to be aimed at countering some of
those worries among Brazilian manufacturers, Chinese airlines
placed orders for 35 jets from Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer
SA on Tuesday. [ID:nB9E7F100C]

On the other side of the ledger are countries like Spain and
Greece, beset by a mountain of debt, who have turned to China as
a potential buyer of government bonds.

Those hopes were underscored by Greek Investment Minister
Pamboukis in an interview with China’s 21st Century Business
Herald newspaper, published on Tuesday.

“(China’s) purchase of Greek bonds will help our economy
overcome the crisis and regain the confidence of the
international market,” he said, according to a Chinese-language
transcript. “It will also help the stability of the euro zone. A
stable euro zone will also help the stability of the Chinese

He said Greece would open its transport, tourism,
telecommunications and banking sectors to Chinese investors.

But China is no reluctant white knight. With an estimated
one quarter of its $2.85 trillion in foreign exchange reserves
invested in the euro , China is loath to see the euro zone
and its currency fail.

As such, China has repeatedly pledged its support and
confidence in Europe’s ability to pull through the crisis, going
so far as to say it had already bought Greek and Spanish debt
and would buy more if need be.

Beijing has never disclosed its holdings or planned

In October, Premier Wen Jiabao said China had already bought
Greek bonds and was preparing to buy more when Athens restarted

Media reports in Spain and Portugal that said China was
prepared to buy between 4-6 billion euros of debt from each of
the European countries were never confirmed by Beijing.

(Editing by Chris Lewis)

UPDATE 1-Chinese clout seen in Brazil, Greece, Spain meetings