The Chinese Economic Offensive in Europe

 

Where the largest population in the world has set its sights

Englishmen: Did you know the Chinese now control House of Fraser? Italians: Did you know the Chinese now own Pirelli? Swedes: Did you know the Chinese now own Volvo?

Depending on how old you are, you’ll likely be either embracing or resisting the Chinese economic offensive into Europe. But if you’d been a Greek youth struggling with 50 percent unemployment in the eurozone crisis, you would have been loving the extra Chinese foreign investment.

China has been looking to break into Europe for decades; in the last five years, its efforts have finally paid off. From 2010 to 2014, Chinese investments in Europe went from $6 billion to $55 billion. And remember, that huge increase happened as China’s economy had been comparatively slowing down.

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The Silk Superhighway

Five years old, but vindicated, still quite relevant and accurate:

 

Who is China’s largest trading partner?

If you guessed the United States, you’re wrong. It’s the European Union.

If you got the first one right, here is another question: Who are the biggest exporters in the world? First place goes to the European Union. Second goes to China. Third would then go to Germany if it wasn’t already included within the EU. America comes in at a distant fourth place, followed by Japan.

The world has changed. Not long ago, America was both the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the world’s most important economy.

Yes, a shift is occurring—and it is titanic. Today’s global power centers of manufacturing and trade have swung back to Europe and China. The most important and lucrative trade routes are once again between the old world’s East and West. The modern Silk Road is swarming with the new merchants.

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