EU-China investment deal put on ice over sanctions

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is on extremely thin ice, and may be suspended entirely because of Beijing’s counter-sanctions over Xinjiang. But that is far from the only area of increased EU-China friction.

EU-China investment deal put on ice over sanctions Photo

The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is on extremely thin ice, and may be suspended entirely because of Beijing’s counter-sanctions over Xinjiang. But that is far from the only area of increased EU-China friction.

When the EU joined the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. in coordinated condemnation and targeted sanctions over China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang in March, Beijing responded with a sweeping show of force.

But the damage to EU-China ties may be done: After Agence France-Presse tweeted today, “EU suspends efforts to ratify China investment deal,” citing EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis, an EU official denied that the deal was “suspended” — but confirmed that it is on extremely thin ice because of the counter-sanctions. Euronews reports:

“…the ratification process of the [investment deal] cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship,” the official told Euronews.

“In this context, Chinese retaliatory sanctions targeting Members of the European Parliament and an entire parliamentary committee are unacceptable and regrettable. The prospects for…ratification will depend on how the situation evolves. So not quite suspended.”

The “suspension” could become official if, as German MEP Hannah Neumann suggested will happen, the European parliament votes later this month to put the investment deal “in the freezer” as long as Beijing keeps its sanctions in place.

While the Xinjiang sanctions and counter-sanctions may have been the catalysts for the current downward slide in EU-China relations, they are far from the only areas of increased tension.

Lucas Niewenhuis is the Newsletter Editor at SupChina. Previously, he has researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council, interned at the Council on Foreign Relations, and studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing. Read more

Top Tweets About The Story

Top China Stories