Miruna Codeanu

China and Romania, a fairy tale about Prince Charming and Cinderella

In espresso on November 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

Romania, November 2013,  China-CEE Summit takes place in Bucharest. Romanian officials and the Romanian press is high on enthusiasm regarding the investments in Romania. Guys, I’m sorry to interrupt your fairy tale about marrying the Chinese prince on a white horse, but I must remind you, again, it’s just business. The Romanian government is over enthusiastic, in my opinion, over the Chinese investment. However there is another point I want to make and it is connected to the new world order. 

Under the communist regime, the Romanians awaited for the US to save them and liberate them. In 1989, everybody was over-enthusiastic and believed the Americans are coming. Pseudo-democracy, pseudo socialism, pseudo transition to democracy and free market came. Romanians kept waiting. Only in 2004 Romanian joined NATO and that was probably the closest event to the much awaited “Americans are coming”. Later on, Romania decided it belonged to Old Europe and joined the EU. Romanian is on the permanent lookout for a prince charming, or a salvation. Nor did the North Atlantic Treaty Organization nor did the European Union save Romania.

However, starting 2008 what everybody knew as the world leading economy – USA started to fail and fall. A new world order was and is still on its way with China as the leading economy. China is basically the biggest world investor right now. I can understand why Romanian officials are jumping up and down but I’m afraid people here always forget to take a step back and ask “Ok, but what’s in for them, what’s in for me?”. Grow up, the world economy is not a welfare system. Nor did China come to Europe to do some charity. China could happily do charity in Africa and it would be so much easier and with much more international echo. Whereas, Chinese charity in Romania is not well regarded as Romania is a state member of the EU, so basically China would be helping the EU. So, what’s in for these guys? Well? They started investing last year and the field for that was energy. Resources. Yes, China tends to do that. They tend to invest in resources. (eg: African states). Why? Well, because we’re running out of them and because having resources in a world that’s running out of them, will be, oh well – beneficial – to use a mild word. The second domain for investments in Romania will be infrastructure. Why? Because we lack that and because it is a business opportunity. What’s in for us? The only news about a benefit for Romania was able to read was that Romanian will export frozen pork meat to China. I’m not saying you should reject Chinese investment, I’m saying benefits should be mutual, which is something I know the Romanian Government is not really good at.

Going back to the point I announced in the introduction of this post, here it is: China is the new prince charming in the world order. Romania can pretty much work like a barometer indicating who is the prince charming at the moment, depending on the country it sees as a savior. Romania, Central and Eastern European countries, most of them , former communist countries, as Romania itself, are in Bucharest these days, courting the Chinese prince charming.  Probably, there will no winning Cinderella, but be careful not to have your heart too broken, Romania and remember darling: It’s just business.

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