Chinese people have witnessed another wonder— the 'Brexit'— in Horse month of the Monkey year, a Chinese saying used to refer to a date far in the unforeseeable future.
As BBC reported, a referendum – a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part – was held on Thursday 23 June, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 52% to 48%. Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will step down by October. Global stock markets fell heavily on the news of the so-called "Brexit". The value of the pound has also fallen dramatically.
European media pointed out that the 'Brexit' has not only opened an uncertain chapter in Britain's storied history, but also caused an "earthquake" in Europe. Many commentators see the future of the entire EU at risk from further Eurosceptic challenges.
Then, in what ways will the 'Brexit' impact China?
Britain's breakup with the EU has caused the depreciation of RMB. It's reported that the global market turmoil that followed the historic referendum sent the Chinese yuan, already propped up by strenuous official intervention, to its lowest point against the dollar in more than five years, resulting in fluctuations in China's stock and currency markets. But Chinese experts believed it would be a minor impact, reducing the pressure on RMB exchange rate.
Some practitioners in foreign trades saw opportunities in the depreciation of Chinese yuan, as the increasing difference between the rates may increase their international trade volume, while others were wary of the EU's turnoff to the Chinese enterprises to protect the local industries.
From another aspect, Chinese students who plan to study in the UK may cheer for the decreasing tuition, following the devaluation of the sterling. In addition, Chinese people can save a bundle of cash when traveling and shopping in the UK. The lower housing price also creates a perfect opportunity for Chinese investors and billionaires.
The Brexit has caused widespread debate on Weibo, where Chinese netizens have mixed views.
Here is an incisive comment from a Weibo user.
"What's the Brexit? Let's put it simply: in the beginning, four big shots — Britain, France, Germany and Italy — gather in a WeChat group, and they send red packets for mutual benefits. Afterwards, more and more countries pour in the group, but they only wait to grab red packets rather than to give, which irritates the big shots. There's no such thing as a free lunch. So, the UK decides to quit the group chat. Other members will supposedly depart from the group in succession, only leaving those who are unwilling to give red packets."
A net user vividly presented the reactions of some countries to the UK's breakup with the EU.
"The UK said goodbye; the EU already cried; the US giggled; China tittered, Russia laughed; Australia, New Zealand and Canada were shocked; Japan got confused."
One shopaholic showed her excitement for the sterling devaluation on Weibo.
"It's almost equivalent to ten percent discount for you, if you buy a dust coat priced in pound sterling on Burberry's website."
It seems the Brexit has even changed the fate of some Chinese students.
"The thesis topic of my essay is 'On the Integration of the UK and Europe', but it's in vain now! Damn it!"
"I've been studying the EU Law for three years, and recited so many cases. But the UK has quit, and France and the Netherlands also attempt to follow its footsteps, which means all my efforts are futile. Leave me alone! I need to calm down."
"But the most worried person in China is Li Kashing, who has bought a half of the UK. Should he stay calm? "
Seeing the Brexit, some busybodies even made a list to indicate those countries intending to leave the EU.
希"落" (là)— Grexit
葡"逃"牙 — Departugal
捷克 — Czechout
奥地利 — Oustria
"分"兰 — Finish
斯洛伐克 — Slovakout
拉"脱"维亚 — Latervia
“德一只” – Germanlonely
See EU later
How will the situation develop then? It remains to be seen.
The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer.