Lou Jiwei, Chairman and CEO of The China Investment Corporation, China’s vast sovereign wealth fund, has announced that it has purchased Spain. The purchase price has not been disclosed but could be in the neighborhood of a hundred billion U.S. dollars. Collapsing under uncontrolled debt, Spain was the next target for a Euro Zone bailout. Faced with the necessity of making draconian cuts, such as terminating unemployment benefits, Socialist Worker Prime Minister Jose Louis Rodriguez Zapatero, agreed to the sale of his country on the grounds that it was the only way to prevent the undue hardship the cuts could have caused amongst the country’s unemployed. “As a socialist, I had no choice,” he added. “As a subsidiary of China, we look forward to sustained economic growth.”
Chinese business executives, engineers, bankers and accountants are all reported to be taking crash courses in Spanish and several thousand young Chinese students are enrolling in Spanish universities to gain fluency in Castilian Spanish and familiarity with Spanish culture, the better to integrate themselves into the country’s way of life. Which, in any event, they are determined to change.
Felix Chee, a top advisor to the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, has justified the investment on several grounds. “First, this is prime real estate,” he asserted, while munching on a Sandwich Mixto and sipping a can of Cruzcampo. “We intend to make back our investment quickly.”
The deal means that China will pay off Spain’s debt, making a combined Euro Zone and IMF bailout unnecessary. German Prime Minister Angela Merkel expressed her relief that German resources would not be stretched further following the Greek and Irish bailouts. “As the only country in Europe with money, we are grateful that China has stepped in but cannot be certain what this means for Europe in the long run,” she added. French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed reservations. “The culture of Europe is already threatened by Moslems. Now, we will have Chinese everywhere. Today Spain, tomorrow Portugal, and so on. If this goes through, Europe as we have known it is finished.” But Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was unperturbed. “First, Marco Polo went there and brought back pasta. Now, they are here. This is life”
Less sanguine was British Prime Minister David Cameron, who denounced the move. “They are still pissed over the Opium Wars and want to get back at us. What they never say is that they caused them. When Britain was buying all that Chinese tea, giving them a huge balance of payments advantage, they blocked our ships from entering Chinese ports preventing us from selling British woolens there to balance things out. We took the only way out. We produced opium in India and bloody made them buy it. They are voracious and there seems to be no compromising with them. The United States owes them so much money they are barely independent and now this. It simply will not do. I will ask my cabinet to consider an invasion of Spain before the Chinese can take it over. We will be asking for German and French assistance in this matter.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese are cheerfully pushing ahead. “ We will work closely with the Spanish so we can turn them into Germans,” Mr. Lou declared. “Then they will start manufacturing the same sophisticated machinery Germany exports and create a European extension of China to compete with Germany. This is how globalism works. There was a time when America bought many foreign companies and dominated the economies of those countries. This is not so very different. Life will be better for the Spanish people. As for democracy, Spain lived happily under Franco. They can do without elections, which only waste time and money. But we are not doing this to dictate to the Spanish people. This is an investment, nothing less, and we expect to profit from it considerably. We intend to increase Spanish wine production and create new markets for it such as Iin ndia. Spanish hams are the best, so there will be a great market for that. But the best part is that Spain will still be part of the European Union and we can sell Spanish products there without any tariffs. We don’t intend to take them out of the Euro Zone either. In fact, we will strengthen the Euro so Chinese goods in Europe will be much cheaper. We see this as a win, win.”
Spanish King Juan Carlos, on the other hand, has called on the Spanish people to rise up and rebel. “We are Spain!” he shouted to a large crowd gathered in front of the royal palace in Madrid. They responded with cheers and shouts of “Viva Espana! Espana, si! China, no!” But Spanish expats living in China have called these demonstrations silly. “They will get used to it, “ one of them said while eating an egg roll.