The Chinese are coming to save us.

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chopera Chopera 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #57406
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The Chinese are coming to save Europe. They have a five-year plan to switch their investments from the US, where they are not really welcomed, to Europe, where they are.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/study-finds-massive-investment-in-europe-by-chinese-state-companies-a-894570.html

    They don’t differentiate between Europe and the Eurozone, it’s all the same to them. I was surprised to read that they already own 10% of Heathrow airport.

  • #87463
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    The Chinese are coming to save Europe. They have a five-year plan to switch their investments from the US, where they are not really welcomed, to Europe, where they are.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/study-finds-massive-investment-in-europe-by-chinese-state-companies-a-894570.html

    They don’t differentiate between Europe and the Eurozone, it’s all the same to them. I was surprised to read that they already own 10% of Heathrow airport.

    Interesting article thanks. I’m not sure whether to get my kids to learn French or Chinese, articles like this begin to swing the decision towards the east.

  • #87078
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Can’t be right…the Chinese, Norwegians etc. are buying in Florida ๐Ÿ˜†

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/10/sun-shines-florida-property-market

  • #87069
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’ve been wondering the same thing Chopera. They already speak Spanish and English and are now learning Irish but I was wondering about ignoring the usual French option for German. BUT, my step brothers children are learning Mandarin.

    Or what about Russian??

  • #87072
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @itsme wrote:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing Chopera. They already speak Spanish and English and are now learning Irish but I was wondering about ignoring the usual French option for German. BUT, my step brothers children are learning Mandarin.

    Or what about Russian??

    For me the main issue isn’t so much getting them to learn the language, but getting them to retain it. I know from experience, having been able to speak French pretty well at the age of 16, how easy it is to forget languages if you don’t practice them.

    French would be easiest for them, as it shares so much with Spanish and English, and the one they would find the easiest to maintain. The main thing (as with all languages) would be to start early so they pick up the accent.

    German has harder grammar than French and might not be so easy to maintain unless they go on to use the language for some reason. Although it currently looks like Germany will dominate the eurozone, so German skills might become more useful. I considered sending my kid to a German school, but am now having second thoughts.

    There are plenty of Chinese classes available for children in Madrid these days, but the main thing that puts me off is the hanzi writing system. It takes a lot of effort to memorise all those characters and, since it’s so difficult, the language has to be learnt by ear. This means that it’s unlikely that Chinese will take off as an international business language. All the same, it would be great to have some kind of insight into how the language works and learning it must be good for cognitive skills.

    Forget about Russian

  • #86142
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    We will order the flied lice !!!!!!!! and not the number.

  • #86126
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    As in “investment”, unless the Chinese have special powers to turn otherwise sensible and thrifty Europeans into the consumerist nutcases like we are in the US, investment in Europe by the Chinese is a good ‘backup’ plan for economic diversity of investments, but little else.

    Regarding Chinese feeling ‘more welcome’ in Europe than in the US, that is pure fantasy. Racism is seethes in every corner of Europe, much more so than in the US. Outside of their ghettos, one rarely sees any immigrants in the middle classes other than in London and a handful of large cities.

    I think the Chinese who can escape China will do so to every part of the world. A friend just returned from Malawi where she was working for a few years, and she said that there is now a lot of Chinese immigrants living there.

    Finally, saying ‘flied lice’ at work here in the US can get you fired from your job. I’m not telling anyone not to say it, only that there are cultural differences in what is acceptable/unacceptable, so beware when visiting the US.

  • #86123
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Interesting point Gary about what people get fired for in the US.

    A Brit we knew in San Diego worked at Reuben H Fleet Space Centre, complimented a female employee on ‘how nice she looked in that skirt’, bang, he was dismissed for saying inappropriate things. A little later he was a bag packer on a check-out in Vons down the road.

    They don’t tolerate slurs, especially those perceived with racist or sexual connotations! ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  • #86119
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    As in “investment”, unless the Chinese have special powers to turn otherwise sensible and thrifty Europeans into the consumerist nutcases like we are in the US, investment in Europe by the Chinese is a good ‘backup’ plan for economic diversity of investments, but little else.

    Regarding Chinese feeling ‘more welcome’ in Europe than in the US, that is pure fantasy. Racism is seethes in every corner of Europe, much more so than in the US. Outside of their ghettos, one rarely sees any immigrants in the middle classes other than in London and a handful of large cities.

    I think the article was talking from a business perspective rather than a cultural one.

    Even so you have made a huge generalisation about Europe there. Not even us “Europeans” know enough about other European countries to claim that “racism is seethes in every corner of Europe”. In Spain you may see fewer immigrants in middle classes but that can be put down to immigration being a recent phenomenon that has occured over the last 10 years mainly. In the UK, France and the Netherlands, where mass immigration started over 50 years ago, you will find a lot more integration, not just in major cities. Of course the original immigrants to the UK did suffer discrimation, and no doubt it still takes place, but it is hard to quantify these days. Also immigrants to the US have tended to go through an “Americanisation” process, making it easier for them to integrate. Western Europe chose a somewhat misguided “multi-cultural” approach, which I think has encouraged the build up of ghettos – as much because it is difficult for immigrants from different cultures to get on with each other than it for them to get on with the indigenous population. You do hear terrible stories from Eastern Europe, but I can’t comment because I’ve never been there. As ever you need to wait a generation for the cultural barriers to come down. The US has had a head start in that respect.

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    I think the Chinese who can escape China will do so to every part of the world. A friend just returned from Malawi where she was working for a few years, and she said that there is now a lot of Chinese immigrants living there.

    I remember hacking through the Darien gap between Panama and Colombia in 1991. The first building I came to on the other side of the jungle was a Chinese launderette!

  • #85369
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Even so you have made a huge generalisation about Europe there. Not even us “Europeans” know enough about other European countries to claim that “racism is seethes in every corner of Europe”.

    Generalization? Yes, in a thread full of generalizations about what ‘they’ speak, getting ‘them’ to retain it, etc. Any time the words “them” or “they” are being used in reference to a large group of people, it is often a generalization.

    And in general, Europe is a very racist and xenophobic place. As some of my friends and family are not white, I was one of my primary concerns in buying a place there, thinking that they will be visiting me. I agree that the situation has improved over the last 10 years, but the US is decades ahead, due to our immigrant traditions and also due to efforts that continue to right the wrong of slavery.

    As a American-born Chinese friend told me after visiting Italy, my experience there is not the same has his experience because I am not Chinese. While he was able to enjoy the art, the sights, etc, he was treated quite poorly. And then there is the perpetual problem with racism at futbol games.

    I also find that anti-Jewish attitudes persist as well. There seems to be the inability for many to distinguish between Israel and Judaism. (I abhor religion, so this isn’t about me defending religion).

  • #85346
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I abhor racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other wrongs in the world, but I also think it’s pointless to get too carried away in dealing with them, it can eat you up if you let it.

    I’ve been a spectator at Spanish football matches and listened to the monkey chants, I’ve seen Spanish Machos push women off the pavement, I’ve seen Spanish kids throw stones at men walking along a beach holding hands; I disagree with all such behaviour but it’s happened for centuries and will continue to do so for much longer.

    Although it’s got nothing to do with me, I applauded a black President elected in the US, considering the size of their black population it made sense to me. And a Jewish mayor in New York was inevitable. And a Chinese mayor in San Francisco? Perhaps it has already happened, I’m not well up on US affairs.

  • #85344
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    Even so you have made a huge generalisation about Europe there. Not even us “Europeans” know enough about other European countries to claim that “racism is seethes in every corner of Europe”.

    Generalization? Yes, in a thread full of generalizations about what ‘they’ speak, getting ‘them’ to retain it, etc. Any time the words “them” or “they” are being used in reference to a large group of people, it is often a generalization.

    The only cultural generalisations in this thread have been made by you. The “them” I referred to in “getting them to retain languages” were my children. Nobody else. I (and another poster) were discussing the merits in teaching our children a third language, and I suggested that it would be harder for them (i.e. my children) to retain certain languages than others. Furthermore I qualified that my opinions were based on my experiences of not retaining French.

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    And in general, Europe is a very racist and xenophobic place.

    Unless you can provide a sh1tload of evidence about the 50 or so countries that make up Europe then this is at best a naive statement. Maybe you have deep knowledge about what people are like in Albania, Belarus, Finland, Sweden, Turkey, etc but I doubt it. Personally I have witnessed Europeans being xenophobic and Americans being xenophobic but I wouldn’t use that experience to call either of those continents “very racist and xenophobic”. It’s those kind of generalisations that create the problem, rather than solve it.

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    As some of my friends and family are not white, I was one of my primary concerns in buying a place there, thinking that they will be visiting me. I agree that the situation has improved over the last 10 years, but the US is decades ahead, due to our immigrant traditions and also due to efforts that continue to right the wrong of slavery.

    I think Spain has dealt with its first decade of (recent) immigration a lot better than the US and the UK did with theirs. But we live in different times and obviously values have changed over the years. But don’t forget the Spanish at times are on the receiving end of xenophobia as well.

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    As a American-born Chinese friend told me after visiting Italy, my experience there is not the same has his experience because I am not Chinese. While he was able to enjoy the art, the sights, etc, he was treated quite poorly. And then there is the perpetual problem with racism at futbol games.

    I also find that anti-Jewish attitudes persist as well. There seems to be the inability for many to distinguish between Israel and Judaism. (I abhor religion, so this isn’t about me defending religion).

    I agree with this. As I mentioned previously I think the UK in particular has messed up with multi-culturalism. It led to lots of people living next to each other who were unable to relate (or even speak) to each other. Perhaps it was thought that these different groups would eventually integrate, but it seems not to have happened in the way people hoped.

    Also I agree that there seems to be a lot of antisemitism in western Europe – not just because of Israel, but also because of banks like Goldman Sachs, Lehman and (in the past) Rothschilds. If that is peoples’ only exposure to Jews then there might be a tendency to (incorrectly) draw unfavourable conclusions about Jews in general. From my experience, people in the UK and Spain will for example laugh at the clever humour of the Simpsons or Family Guy, applaud the literature of Heller, get engrosed in the latest series by JJ Abrams, or the latest Spielberg film (Woody Allen is idolised in Spain) but they’ll be completely blind to the fact that these people are Jewish as well. They’ll think of them as Americans. They’ll slag off the Jews as capitalist mercenaries and be oblivious to the fact that Marx was Jewish as well. I don’t know why that is.

  • #85337
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Is this an excuse for anti-semitism

    Also I agree that there seems to be a lot of antisemitism in western Europe – not just because of Israel, but also because of banks like Goldman Sachs, Lehman and (in the past) Rothschilds. If that is peoples’ only exposure to Jews then there might be a tendency to (incorrectly) draw unfavourable conclusions about Jews in general

    That’s how it all started in Germany ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    How many times do you see black and Asian faces working in shops in Europe (excluding the UK) Infact it is almost impossible for any foreigner to get a job in Spain for an ex-pat, unless working for another ex-pat! In New York Black people are visible in all types of business and at all levels. The only visible ones in Spain are the lucky men!

  • #85316
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    How many times do you see black and Asian faces working in shops in Europe (excluding the UK) Infact it is almost impossible for any foreigner to get a job in Spain for an ex-pat, unless working for another ex-pat! In New York Black people are visible in all types of business and at all levels. The only visible ones in Spain are the lucky men!

    I see more and more Asian (chinese) and black (north African) faces in bars and shops everytime I go to Spain. I suppose it’s different because I head to Madrid or Valencia, not to Marbella. As Chopera pointed out Spain’s had about 10 years of this increased immigration – the UK started its in the 50s. I personally know a shop owner in Valencia who’s hired an African as the shop manager (although it may be connected by the fact he’s her husband!!!)
    Impossible for a foreigner to get a job in Spain? You’ll have to tell all those Columbians, Ecuadorians, Rumanians and Moroccans then!! ๐Ÿ™„ And all those English (and now Russian) language teachers up and down the country!!! Try telling Gary Stewart at Wayra Spain, or Matthew Key at Telefonica Digital or Paul Ryb at Gowex, that the Spanish never hire foreigners. Or, come to that matter, Jose Mourinho, David Beckham, Michael Robinson and the rest…
    Not that the situation is perfect, the government jobs that require oposiciones exams will almost always go to someone educated in the local system, but those jobs will get cut away in the future anyway.

  • #85301
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    At the moment so few people are being hired that most immigrants are competing with locals who have many years of experience. The immigrants find themselves in the same situation as the Spanish youth in that respect. However a few years ago I had no problem finding work, and a friend of mine from the Ivory Coast has had no problem becoming a bank manager. However he is highly qualified, married to a Spaniard and has taken Spanish nationality. At my eldest child’s nursery there are also children with one African parent, who own their own house, drive a nice car, etc. But again the other parent is Spanish and it seems that that is how the African parent has been able to become established. In fact, come to think of it, I see very few African women at all in Madrid.

    These are exceptions though. It seems that most people of African decent in Madrid have only recently come over from Africa, have few qualifications and may not read or write Spanish, having learnt it on the street (I know it’s a problem many Rumanians have). However unlike the Chinese and Bangladesh communities, the Africans seem unable to set up their own businesses. The Chinese will lend money to each other and the Bangladeshis have extensive family networks that also provide work for each other. I was chatting to a Bangladeshi the other week and he told me he had arrived from Sweden 6 months ago and might stay for a year before moving on. He seemed to have quite an extensive network available to him. The Africans just don’t seem to have that available to them.

    As for South Americans, I have a Mexican and a Venezuelan working next to me right now, and know plenty of established Colombians and Argentinians, and have good friends from El Salvador and Ecuador who have also been working in Madrid for years. But for them it’s a lot easier compared to immigrants from other countries.

  • #85279
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Although I live on the outskirts of a Spanish city, it’s a coastal one and probably very different to Madrid. At the same time, it is just as full of ‘foreigners’.

    It makes me think that Spain is full of foreigners. It’s difficult to judge, being one myself. It wouldn’t surprise me if the statistics prove me right, but I’ve developed a severe aversion to googling anything, trillions of pages of absolute rubbish have put me off.

    At ground level, local businesses have been swamped by Chinese outlets, most of them extremely busy. They seem to provide exactly what people need, from cheap light bulbs to excruciating clothing, even Union Jack shorts, and I saw a guy walking about in them yesterday. It made me laugh, but he was a big guy and I hoped he didn’t see me.

  • #85267
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I can’t understand why so many Brits living in Spain wear Union Jack shorts, if they want to live there Spain should introduce a law to make them wear Spanish flag shorts, no string vests, and absorb themselves in Spanish culture (I jest) ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • #85270
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You don’t see many Union Jack shorts nowadays and I often see ladies who have had their tattoos removed, leaving horrible scars. The expats appear to be going respectable.

    Not only that, local Spanish classes are always fully booked. Mind you, so are the English classes, full of Spanish youngsters who are going abroad to find work.

    But I also know a group of elderly English ladies who lunch. They’ve lived here for years and can just about order a con leche. They whizz around the countryside terrifying the locals.

  • #85256
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    Plenty of expats who live and work in Spain (Madrid) on this site – I suspect few, or even none of them wear Union Jack shorts, and I’m fairly positive none of the Irish on there would ever do so either…

    http://www.madridteacher.com/

  • #85245
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I agree, I doubt that none of the Irish would wear Union Jack shorts either, think their flag is green, white and orange, not that you see many shorts in that fabric ๐Ÿ™„

    Plenty of Brits seem to wear U.J.’s on the CDS coast though ๐Ÿ™„

  • #84805
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    In nearly 10 years in Spain I have never seen a pair of union jack shorts (not that I’ve been desperately looking out for them). However you do see plenty of union jacks on t-shirts in Madrid, usually being worn by South Americans (I’m not sure why). I’d assumed the union jack shorts had been replaced by the club/country football shirt.

  • #84721
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    In nearly 10 years in Spain I have never seen a pair of union jack shorts (not that I’ve been desperately looking out for them). However you do see plenty of union jacks on t-shirts in Madrid, usually being worn by South Americans (I’m not sure why). I’d assumed the union jack shorts had been replaced by the club/country football shirt.

  • #84807
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    We must have been to the wrong places then or been unlucky, have seen the UJ shorts in Orange Square Marbella of all places, plenty in Banalmadena, Torremolinos, and inland towns like Coin, but then every time time we’ve been to Southern California, a dozen times or so, we’ve always seen rattlesnakes whereas our friends who live there have only seen one, and that’s not due to tequilla. ๐Ÿ˜†

    I won’t look out specially for UJ’s next week but expect to see some on the CDS ๐Ÿ™„

  • #84725
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    We must have been to the wrong places then or been unlucky, have seen the UJ shorts in Orange Square Marbella of all places, plenty in Banalmadena, Torremolinos, and inland towns like Coin, but then every time time we’ve been to Southern California, a dozen times or so, we’ve always seen rattlesnakes whereas our friends who live there have only seen one, and that’s not due to tequilla. ๐Ÿ˜†

    I won’t look out specially for UJ’s next week but expect to see some on the CDS ๐Ÿ™„

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