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EU aims at reviving investment talks with China while escalating scrutiny on Chinese firms



Europe - China

 European Union is eyeing the Monday summit with China as an opportunity to revive the trade and investment talks with the latter. 

In 2014 the EU and China had begun negotiations for investment agreement between the two parties. European Union had the agenda that this would help European investors in getting an easier access to the Chinese markets. 

EU is hosting call with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

European Union alleges that the European companies in China are not granted similar privileges as are provided to the Chinese firms in EU nations. Negotiators have reached a significant level with the talks and are expected to finalize a deal by the end of year, reports suggest. 

EU official told CNBC “The EU wants to give a new political impetus to its relationship with China”.

European Union aims at a same level ‘playing field’ for companies of both sides for a fair business opportunity. Working in this direction, starting last week the European Commission, which is the EU’s executive arm, opened a process that would limit working of government-backed Chinese firms in EU.

The European Commission oversees the state aid granted by European governments to various corporates and now wants the same too be applicable for the foreign subsidies as well. This can be a problem for big Chinese firms that have ties with the Chinese government, like Huawei.  

Margrethe Vestager, Vice President of the European Commission said last week, “We need the right tools to ensure that foreign subsidies do not distort our market, just as we do with national subsidies.”

The European Union also wants to take the meeting as an opportunity to discuss with China the current global Covid-19 pandemic crisis, and the latter’s stance on climate changes and goal regarding the same, security policy and human rights. China’s imposing of National Security Law on Hong Kong was criticized by EU and it had expressed its “grave concerns” regarding this in May. 

The summit is at a critical time when the world is grappling with pandemic and economic shattering crisis. 


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