fredag 1. januar 2021

EU-China Pact Sparks Concern Over Labor Standards, Human Rights

A major investment pact between China and the European Union, which wrapped up negotiations on the deal this week, has sparked concerns that it will give the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a free pass on human rights and labor standards, while locking the E.U. into allowing market access to Chinese companies. The Comprehensive Agreement on Investments (CAI) sets out a number of commitments on paper that might lead to positive change if interpreted by a non-authoritarian regime with no track record of mass incarceration or forced labor.

But there are concerns that the CCP is highly unlikely to implement them in the way that they would be understood in a liberal democracy, especially given its track record of using propaganda and careful orchestration of workers and detainees during inspection tours of contested facilities. Andreas Fulda, lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Nottingham University, said there are no guarantees or mechanisms to ensure that China keeps up its end of the bargain.

"[The CAI] does not provide any ironclad guarantee to improve labor standards in China, for example by allowing the existence of independent labor unions," Fulda told RFA.