China, the EU’s second largest trading partner after the United States and the European Union being China’s largest trading partner, is now seeking more cooperation.
EU wants to develop trade relations with China However, the EU wants to ensure that China respects fair trade and intellectual property rights and fulfills its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The EU’s major imports from China are industrial and consumer goods, machinery and equipment, footwear and clothing, and the EU’s main exports to China are machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, aircraft and chemicals.
In 2013, the EU and China began negotiations on an investment agreement. The agreement was intended to enable investors on both sides to have predictable and long-term access to the markets of the European Union and China and to protect their investors and investments.
Last week, after seven years of negotiations with China, the European Commission presented the text of an investment protection agreement to 27 EU member states for ratification; The agreement is likely to be signed soon between the EU and the President of China.
The European Commission has announced its initial agreement with the agreement and must now be approved by the 27 member states of the union; If a consensus is reached, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for Economic and Trade Affairs, will soon meet with Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He, and the agreement A virtual meeting will be signed between European Commission President Ursula Von, European Council President Charles Michel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A few days before US President-elect Joe Biden enters the White House in 2020, concluding the agreement is a major achievement for China. In the midst of tensions with the United States, Beijing is trying to prevent a united transatlantic front against itself.
Several European countries, including Germany, a major economic partner of China, hold the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe until December 31; They are trying to conclude this agreement, and France, unlike some countries, including the Netherlands, Sweden, etc., agrees to conclude this agreement.
Good progress was made in the 35th round of talks between the European Commission and China last week. Brussels has asked China to open its market to several sectors, including information technology, biotechnology, automobiles and medical equipment. In return, China has demanded guarantees from the European Union to open up more renewable energy to Chinese investment.
However, in a recent video conference with EU officials, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed four principles for developing China-EU relations, including “peaceful coexistence, openness and cooperation, multilateralism” and “And talk and advice.” Following this is the last issue of investment talks between the two sides.
Noting that China and Europe are important trading and investment partners for each other, Xi called on the two sides to increase macro-policy coordination, take more action and provide more opportunities for cooperation.
As US relations with China and Europe deteriorated under Trump, so did China and Europe’s chances of strengthening cooperation and increasing ties. Investment talks between the two sides show that the EU and China are on the path to cooperation rather than confrontation.
The EU seems to have more in common with China than the United States, including globalization and a desire to address climate change and other issues that the United States is avoiding, including China and the EU. For example, Germany and France, like China, oppose Trump’s “tough sanctions” against Iran.
The size of the economy and money are also important, with the European Union and the United States acknowledging that China may be the only country that can pull them and the world out of the Corona recession. China’s massive 1.4 billion domestic market can buy and invest large quantities of products from the European Union and the United States.
However, although the conditions for the signing of the China-EU investment cooperation agreement seem to have improved, some important issues between Beijing and Brussels still remain.
Beijing disagrees on issues of sustainable development and social responsibility, as well as on resolving disputes between investors and Brussels. On the issue of resolving investment disputes, the EU has agreed to withdraw from the agreement and to negotiate further.