Chinese Companies investing in the EU: issues and challenges*
China and the Western World; a relationship dating back to the opening of the Silk Road, something like 2200 years ago. Since then luxury goods of the highest quality were exchanged between China and Europe. Silk, satin, hemp, perfumes, spices, medicines, tea and other goods were traded towards Europe while the Roman Empire exported gold, silver, fine glassware, wine, carpets, and jewels. Diplomatic and indirect cultural exchanges followed soon.
Chinese silk was highly appreciated by the Romans who made out of it, according to the historian Pliny the Elder (23-79AD), “vestments that, while they cover a woman, at the same moment reveal her naked charms”. Silk imports caused a great outflow of gold reserves from Rome causing the first “European” attempt to block Chinese imports. The Roman Senate issued, with no success, several edicts, basing on economic and moral grounds, to prohibit the wearing of silk.
Commerce through the Silk Road flourished for centuries, but due to the lack of direct contacts, China remained a nearly legendary place for centuries. The first precise accounts on China were brought to the Western and to the Arabic World by t ...