Last week France 24 reported that China had bought 45 Airbus A330’s, acquiring half a chunk of the Toulouse airport while they were at it, and planning to open a second production plant in China for the plane’s interiors. Chinese pilots are already being trained in France, to the tune of 100,000 Euros each, paid by Beijing, and China expects to order over 5,000 jetliners in the next 20 years.
But the most significant event was the French trade minister inviting his guests to invest more, and come to live in France - in Chinese! When you consider how annoyed the French have always been at having to speak English, insisting on making it sound like French, the sight of a Paris high official rolling Mandarin off his tongue with seeming pleasure is nothing short of extraordinary. It puts the finishing touches to an image I coined in the nineties eighties when I was writing ‘Une autre Europe, un autre Monde’ the book that foresaw the reunification of Europe, which I defined as ‘the Eurasian peninsula’.
While we periodically hear of Chinese and Russians acquiring real estate in Europe, China isn’t waiting for the Silk Road and its high-speed Beijing-Berlin rail line to put productive chess pieces - or should I say Go pieces - in place.
I still believe Europe will become Muslim, but one can imagine it taking its softer, Balinese form…Oh, to be a fly on a Gobelins tapestry fifty years from now!