onsdag 12. mai 2021

EU-China investment pact on a knife’s edge

Has the death knell already sounded on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), a deal which was controversially signed in December ahead of Joe Biden’s formal inauguration in the White House but still requires EU ratification?

A recent and precipitous downturn in EU-China relations over human rights-related issues and the EU’s recent move to protect large European firms from foreign buyouts clearly aimed at Chinese companies have put the agreed but not ratified pact in new doubt. “It’s clear in the current situation with the EU sanctions in place against China and Chinese counter-sanctions in place … [that] the environment is not conducive for ratification of the agreement,” EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a press interview last Thursday.

Dombrovskis referred to the EU’s imposition of targeted sanctions in March on four Chinese officials for their role in the alleged “genocide” of the Uighur population in China’s Xinjiang region. Hours later, Beijing imposed retaliatory sanctions on several EU officials, members of the European Parliament (MEP) and European academic institutes.