The spectacular rise of China as a world economic power is one of the great changes of our time. For Europe, as for the United States, it poses a massive competitive challenge. Europe, the United States and Japan are still the big players in the world’s service, high-tech and luxury goods markets, while China continues to consolidate its position as the world’s leading light manufacturer. But China’s high-tech economy is growing. We won’t be trading Airbuses for T-shirts for much longer.
Inevitably, considerations like this have weighed heavily in defining the European Union’s response to China’s considerable capacity as a textile exporter.