China’s New Foreign Policy and the West: The Case of the European Debt Crisis
China’s new self-confidence on the international stage is mirrored by its new foreign policy rhetoric. Since bilateral free trade agreements with Island in April 2013 and, more importantly, with Switzerland in July 2013 after two years of intense negotiations, have created spearheads in Europe’s center, many on the “old continent” fear that in the long term, not only national debts, but parts of the entrepreneurial and infrastructural core of Europe’s economic and technological performance may be step by step bought up by China, a nation with more than one and a half times the population of the Western nations combined and eager to reach similar levels of innovation. And this, so these critics warn, could happen also to the United States, the biggest foreign debtor to China: a slow, but steady sell-out of crown jewels to China’s banks and its globally operating, government-controlled corporations. But does China really want to “buy up” the West?