Right now, it is all smiles for the cameras:
China is prepared to buy more EU government bonds amid a worsening European debt crisis that is dragging on the world economy, Premier Wen Jiabao said, in the strongest sign of support for its biggest trading partner in months.
The debt crisis, which has dented demand for Chinese exports and dragged China into its worst downturn in three years, was the primary focus of talks between Wen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who arrived in Beijing on Thursday.
In the short run, it's hard to complain if China spends some of its foreign currency reserves on shoring up major allies of ours. Two birds with one stone, and all that.
China has already bullied and bribed Europeans into halting arms sales to Taiwan.
China has been urging Europe to end their arms embargo on China put in place after the unpleasantness of 1989. And Europe would love to have that market again for their own arms sales.
As Europe's new banker, China is in a position to push Europe to end that embargo.
And to make the Europeans feel less guilty, I'm sure the Chinese are telling the Europeans that China is making such progress in domestic arms production that if Europe doesn't establish markets soon, China won't even want to buy European weapons.
Whether or not there is a decent interval between the Chinese loan and the announcement of the end of the arms embargo, I think we can say that this will be the first step in Europe's own pivot (and deep bow) to the Asia-Pacific region.