Johnny Erling, RCS/World Crunch/Die Welt: New Slick Road: Europe Doesn't Buy China's Free-Trade Claims
BEIJING – Ruan Zongze has a very simple explanation as to why he is so bullish on trade relations between China and Europe. “China needs Europe’s state-of-the-art technology. Europe needs China’s massive market.” That, at the least, is what Zongze, considered a progressive-minded Chinese foreign policy expert, told Xinhua news agency shortly before Prime Minister Li Keqiang of China left for meetings this week in Berlin and Brussels.
There has been some truth to both sides of his statement in the past, but it doesn't really apply any longer seeing as Chinese companies are buying the coveted technology from sources all over the globe and are busy extending their own know-how at home. At the same time, the Chinese market is losing its appeal to European companies since Beijing is still refusing foreign companies full access to its markets. Indeed, European Union countries severely curtailed investments in China over the past year.
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WNU Editor: I have lost count on how many times over the years I have posted stories on this blog that China's definition of free trade is very different from how Western countries define it. As I keep on telling everyone .... I have a 32 year history with China, and during those years the number one economic priority for China has always been the same .... protect its home based industries and manufacturing sector from outside competitors. They have never deviated from this policy .... and when push came to shove from other countries who wanted access to Chinese markets .... they always went out of their way to obfuscate and delay by making promises that in the end were never kept. Because of these policies they are now the world's second largest economy .... but it is no longer becoming sustainable .... especially from countries like the U.S. and the Trump administration who are now saying enough is enough. China needs new markets .... they see the storm clouds .... so they rush to Europe. But no surprise from this blogger .... unlike the Americans who use to be gullible about free trade .... the Europeans are not gullible, and they know a protectionist policy when they see one. My prediction .... there will be no "free trade" between China and Europe .... China will have to go elsewhere.