Yesterday we heard it again in the news. China is ready to give cheap money to Europe. That’s not new. Previously China has offered a helping hand to Euroland with its debt crisis and I think that’s a ongoing topic whenever Chinese and European leaders meet.
The money doesn’t come for free of course. China wants to have unrestricted access to the European markets. Less trade barriers when selling products to Europe and less paperwork when Chinese companies want to establish a presence in Europe. While I do like less paperwork in general, I’m not sure if less trade barriers will be helpful for Europe. Cheap Chinese products mean lower prices in our shops, but also more competition for low wage countries in southern and eastern Europe. Essentially Europe gets money but has to give up competitiveness.
But there is also some candy in the store for learners of Chinese. China wants Europe to reduce paperwork for Chinese companies and help them to establish themselves in Europe. More Chinese companies in Europe mean two things. First more jobs in general. Second a unique opportunity for learners of Chinese, because these Chinese companies are Chinese companies, and their management probably will be Chinese. And who else could be a better choice than a European with Chinese skills to make sure communication between Chinese managers and European employees is smooth?
Sure they could send some Chinese persons who have learned English. However not everyone in Europe speaks English and when it comes to the more obscure languages of Europe I doubt China has enough people with those language skills.
If you are a Chinese learner this move will probably increase the value of your language skills. If you aren’t learning Chinese already, this might be a good idea to get started learning Chinese.