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Published on October 31st, 2011 | by Matthew Howard
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="230" caption="President Jianto visits Gordon Brown - Time to end the relationship? (c) Downing Street via Flickr"]Chinese President Hu Jianto and Gordon Brown[/caption] Its in hindsight we find out the detail of what happened, and so with the euro-bailout. It has emerged that China were sought out to play a significant rolein supporting the flagging currency. It would have been nice to know beforehand, but perhaps the European Union thought it too hot a topic. The French electorate are expected to punish President Nicolas Sarkozy next year for what has been cast as a sign of "weakness"; the cap-in-hand attempt at China has been seen as only the start of new concessions to the Chinese behemoth with whom many have a bone to pick. The potential of greater Chinese influence is feared by Pro-Life groups who have long battled against the Communist states' morally challenging one-child policy; any financial assistance would limit the ability of groups to push for changes, since Government hands would be tied. Its the behaviour of China with regards to investment in Africa that has also caused concern, with some calling it a 'new slavery' that has so far been overlooked. It would be harder to challenge Chinese companies if we became reliant on investment from the booming Communist state. On that point we can also comment, because if China is the future, we are likely to follow its lead; in the wake of the, albeit flat, protests by anti-capitalists, and wide-spread disenchantment with our democracies, the Chinese hybrid of socialism and capitalism could even lap at our own shores. If we have learnt anything from the recent financial crisis, its that we are the weak links in the global economy, and the rising economies of Asia and South America have the potential to strip us of our influence as our own incompetencies are clear to see, from Wall Street to London. Perhaps this is hyperbolic, and a temporary blip in European finance may turn out to strengthen rather than destroy the euro project. It may be that China stumbles as crucial natural resources become ever more scarce, yet just to be safe, we should be careful on the friends we choose.

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China: Friend or Foe?

Chinese President Hu Jianto and Gordon Brown

President Jianto visits Gordon Brown – Time to end the relationship? (c) Downing Street via Flickr

Its in hindsight we find out the detail of what happened, and so with the euro-bailout. It has emerged that China were sought out to play a significant rolein supporting the flagging currency. It would have been nice to know beforehand, but perhaps the European Union thought it too hot a topic.

The French electorate are expected to punish President Nicolas Sarkozy next year for what has been cast as a sign of “weakness”; the cap-in-hand attempt at China has been seen as only the start of new concessions to the Chinese behemoth with whom many have a bone to pick.

The potential of greater Chinese influence is feared by Pro-Life groups who have long battled against the Communist states’ morally challenging one-child policy; any financial assistance would limit the ability of groups to push for changes, since Government hands would be tied.

Its the behaviour of China with regards to investment in Africa that has also caused concern, with some calling it a ‘new slavery’ that has so far been overlooked. It would be harder to challenge Chinese companies if we became reliant on investment from the booming Communist state.

On that point we can also comment, because if China is the future, we are likely to follow its lead; in the wake of the, albeit flat, protests by anti-capitalists, and wide-spread disenchantment with our democracies, the Chinese hybrid of socialism and capitalism could even lap at our own shores.

If we have learnt anything from the recent financial crisis, its that we are the weak links in the global economy, and the rising economies of Asia and South America have the potential to strip us of our influence as our own incompetencies are clear to see, from Wall Street to London.

Perhaps this is hyperbolic, and a temporary blip in European finance may turn out to strengthen rather than destroy the euro project. It may be that China stumbles as crucial natural resources become ever more scarce, yet just to be safe, we should be careful on the friends we choose.

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About the Author

History and Politics undergraduate at the University of Hull.



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