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The European Oasis

PARIS – Are non-Europeans much less pessimistic about Europe than Europeans themselves? Could distance be a prerequisite for a more balanced view of the continent’s predicament?

In an interview a few months ago, Wang Hongzhang, the chairman of China Construction Bank, indirectly expressed his subdued enthusiasm for Europe. Quoting the Chinese proverb, “A starved camel is still bigger than a horse,” he went on to say that Europe’s economies are much stronger than many people believe. And, without saying so explicitly, he suggested that the time was right to go on a European buying spree at the right price.