China pushes for resurrection of EU investment deal

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HAMBURG, Germany — China has stepped up lobbying of European Union decision-makers to revive a planned investment deal in its latest effort to improve ties with the Brussels-based bloc.

Beijing has proposed it and the EU simultaneously scrap sanctions that derailed the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in 2021, but analysts say big hurdles remain to put the accord back on track.

China’s overtures come as it seeks to change tone from an era of aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomacy and looks to build international alliances in the face of growing tensions with the U.S.

TRADE
China pushes for resurrection of EU investment deal
Revival faces big political hurdles despite business support

Sanctions derailed the proposed European Union-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in 2021. Β© Reuters
JENS KASTNER, Contributing writer
February 25, 2023 18:07 JST
HAMBURG, Germany — China has stepped up lobbying of European Union decision-makers to revive a planned investment deal in its latest effort to improve ties with the Brussels-based bloc.

Beijing has proposed it and the EU simultaneously scrap sanctions that derailed the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) in 2021, but analysts say big hurdles remain to put the accord back on track.

China’s overtures come as it seeks to change tone from an era of aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomacy and looks to build international alliances in the face of growing tensions with the U.S.

Fu Cong, China’s ambassador to the EU since December, has proposed resurrecting the European investment deal, which was agreed politically in late 2020 but never received the necessary approval from the European Parliament.

Ratification stalled after Beijing sanctioned EU officials in response to European bloc sanctions over alleged widespread human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

Fu said this month that the world economy was “not going through a very good time” and acknowledged that “some European business people have some complaints about the access to [the] Chinese market.”

“We are actually listening to initiatives from the EU side; our proposal is that we leave the sanctions simultaneously,” he said during a briefing at the European Policy Center on Feb. 8, according to a transcript.

Source: Nikkei Asia

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