China Tries to Play Nice
Yet there is political resistance too. The conservative Heritage Foundation found that last year almost $33 billion in deals were blocked by officials in the target country, including Bright Food Group's attempt to buy France's Yoplait. China's Ministry of Finance estimates that some $60 billion in deals were approved.
In a similar way that the U.S. once triangulated, using China to help check the Soviet Union, so too is China using Europe to triangulate the U.S. Europe offers China a way to at last partially diversify away from the U.S. dollar. Europe is also an important buyer of China's goods, allowing it to diversify away from the largest consumer market in the world (the U.S.).
One important political concession that China is seeking is for Europe to classify it as a market economy. The current designation of as a non-market economy makes it easier for European companies to seek redress against Chinese trade practices. Yet China is likely to find what other great powers including the U.S., have found: It is difficult to translate financial prowess into political leverage.
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