ENTER THE DRAGON 'TO SAVE THE EURO’
It is in the interest of cash-rich China to help resolve the eurozone debt crisis, but Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, who is visiting Britain and Continental Europe, will want a share of the West’s buying power in return.
Malcolm Moore, Peter Foster and Andrew Cave
The Telegraph, June 26, 2011
As Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, stepped off his plane in Birmingham on Saturday, it was difficult to avoid the feeling that the UK, and Europe, have never looked weaker in Chinese eyes.
In private, senior Chinese diplomats are now openly scornful of Britain’s economic prospects and have even asked why Mr Wen should grace such a weak trading partner with three days of his time.
Indeed, it is telling that the first stop on Mr Wen’s tour is Longbridge, the old MG Rover car factory that passed into Chinese hands in 2005. Once a byword for poor productivity, wildcat strikes and trade union power in its British Leyland and Austin Rover days, the plant is now host to China’s biggest industrial presence in the UK. Owned by Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation, the factory designs and assembles MG cars in the UK made from car parts manufactured in China.
However, the Longbridge site remains the only major example of Sino-British co-operation, something that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, whose advisers have helped co-ordinate the visit, is determined to change.
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