Made In China
If you're reading this and you're outside China, have a quick look around you. Pretty much everything you wear, everything you sit on, everything you look at, everything you type into or talk into was probably made in China.
Take it all away and what would you have left? Let me know. (To make this point, an American journalist, Sara Bongiorni, recently wrote a book A Year Without Made in China about her efforts to live without Chinese-made products. She found it pretty tricky.)
China makes around 80% of the world's photocopiers, 65% of the world's mobile phones, 60% of its digital cameras, 50% of its computers and 45% of its microwaves. They are all made for little cost by low-paid Chinese workers.
This has a huge effect. It's thought that Chinese-made products save the average shopper in the UK hundreds of pounds a year. Chinese production and Chinese spending mean that people in the UK get cheap goods and low interest rates. So we are all coming to depend on what happens in this country.
We're putting together a piece for the Ten O'Clock News on this subject. Should be running tonight.