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Tbilisi to turn into China Town2011-07-04 19:48
When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you,. Enough of Saakashvili's dreams about East - Hong Kong and Singapore: the Chinese start to get interested in Georgian real estate. It looks like citizens of the Celestial Empire are coming to help naïve Mishiko. Quite probably, in one or two years' time the second official language in Sakartvelo will be...Chinese that schoolchildren will have to learn instead of English.
While Sakartvelo dwells on Russian occupation looking for Russian soldiers hidden high in the mountains, the trouble comes from another side. The Chinese known for pursuing "bloodless wars", i.e. winning by the quantity, have a serious crush on Georgian land and real estate.
Real estate agencies state that the citizens of China are most interested in Tbilisi, information demand is growing day by day. For the time being it's just sizing up the market, but as experts claim, it looks very much like a tiger getting ready to leap. It will not take much time to start a construction boom and sell lands to Chinese owners.
Appearance of the Chinese on the Georgian market is little wonder. As compared to the prices in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, land and properties in Tbilisi cost nothing. But what stands behind this interest for Georgia? Will Sakartvelo manage to "digest" Easter guests considering that Georgian population is 3,000,000 versus one and a half billion in China?
As neighbors, the Chinese are quite annoying. Firstly if they come to a new place, they come in a large group. Most probably, according to Chinese standards, a few hundred thousand persons is no big deal after all. A drop in the sea, the Motherland won't notice their absence. Yet, for not so numerous nations these guests that settle down for years to come and unwilling to join the community become a real headache.
The Chinese emigrating to other countries never get assimilated with locals. They live in communities known for their internal rules quite different from what neat Europeans are used to and zealously observe their traditions. Most probably, soon Tbilisi citizens will have to walk along streets "decorated" in the Chinese style and fear fat cockroaches whom guests from the far-away country treat with purely Eastern calmness.
Chinese hum will be better heard than native Georgian on the streets: if Beijing is interested in Georgia, the attack will be massive. It's funny to think that locals will manage to "Georgianize" new comers from China.