Weetabix has been bought by a Chinese company.
Bright Foods will take a 60% stake in the company.
Just another capitalist deal, you might say. And if it were, say, an American or a German company buying Weetabix, it would be just another deal.
China, however, is different. Foreign companies are not allowed to own controlling stakes in any Chinese companies. Not only are British companies not allowed to buy existing Chinese companies – they are not even allowed to set up wholly owned subsidiaries in China without a Chinese partner.
This is why Jaguar Land Rover recently did a deal with China’s Chery Automobile. In that deal, Chery will own part of a join venture with JLR that will assemble JLR products in China.
No wonder China is making all the running in the world economy. The playing field is very far from level. China manipulates its currency, and refuses to play by the fair market rules that Western countries by and large play by. Their aim is to destroy our companies’ market positions and win leadership for themselves.
It is time Western countries started to demand the same access to Chinese markets that the Chinese have to ours – or else we need to close our markets to them.
It’s really that simple.
Time to play a bit more hardball with the Chinese Communist government. Sadly, the idea of David Cameron playing hardball with anyone except Tory backbenchers is far-fetched.