Fuzzy EU & China Investment Deal 

On December 30th 2020, the EU have just published the following news:

“The EU and China have today concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).  This deal follows a call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and European Commission President von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on behalf of the Presidency of the EU Council, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron. 

China has committed to a greater level of market access for EU investors than ever before, including some new important market openings. China is also making commitments to ensure fair treatment for EU companies so they can compete on a better level playing field in China, including in terms of disciplines for state owned enterprises, transparency of subsidies and rules against the forced transfer of technologies. For the first time, China has also agreed to ambitious provisions on sustainable development, including commitments on forced labour and the ratification of the relevant ILO fundamental Conventions.

Alliances between the world’s biggest powers are more important that stand-offs. 

We have to live with one another because the globe is just too small for wars and violence. 

Climate Change is happening without concerted action to prevent it, but joint action between the world’s biggest populations does not happen if we are fighting one another in good or bad ways. 

This Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is one step in the right direction but the German and French governments could have taken one step slower in agreeing with the Chinese on the last day of the German presidency of the EU Council. 

Selling more Mercedes or French wines to the Chinese are not sufficient reasons to rush into such agreements when few China experts believe that the present Chinese government will adhere to the promises of more transparency and of reducing forced labour, etc., that they are committing to in this agreement. 

There was no need to rush through such an agreement one day before the conclusion of the German’s presidency of the EU Council. Other EU political experts are already claiming that this agreement has been received as a slap in the face for the incoming US administration. Again there should have been a more attention paid to building up and repairing the EU/US relationship. Now the opposite has happened.

It is more important for the EU to behave exactly according to its remit.

The EU is not a German and French Club, as is evidenced by the above still from the December 30th video conference. One can understand why Merkel is involved in the video conference, but it is unacceptable that Macron pops up too! There are 27 independent states who are members of the EU and there are no official elections that tell us that two countries have a permanent position as heads of the EU!


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