In 2016, the two sides agreed on the scope of the future agreement. They agreed that it would go beyond a traditional investment protection agreement and cover market access for investment and a number of important disciplines. It would also contain provisions on sustainable development and dispute settlement. The EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) lasted seven years and was finally approved in principle on 30 December 2020 following a virtual summit between EU and Chinese leaders. Europe said it was the most ambitious trade deal China has ever struck with a third party. Although the EU currently has a trade deficit with China, European exports export to other destinations; in fact, the EU`s overall trade balance is positive. There is a dispute over textile imports into the EU (the Bra Wars), with domestic European manufacturers losing to cheaper Chinese imported products. The EU and China have finally reached an agreement to end the “textile conflict” that has poisoned their relations for several weeks. The two sides (the Chinese government on one side, the European Commission on the other) have finally reached an agreement that seems to end the dispute between Beijing and Brussels. Under the agreement, China agreed that only half of this amount would be deducted from its 2006 export quotas in exchange for releasing 80 million goods from European ports. [Citation needed] The EU and China started negotiations on the CCM in 2014.

The European Commission carried out an impact assessment in 2013. A sustainability impact assessment was carried out between 2015 and 2018 to assess the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of the agreement. However, economic cooperation continued with the EU`s “New Asia Strategy”, the first Asia-Europe meeting in 1996, the EU-China Summit in 1998 and frequent political documents calling for closer partnerships with China. Although the Asian financial crisis of 1997 dampened investor enthusiasm, China weathered the crisis well and continued to be a major focus of EU trade. Chinese leaders sought to arouse European interest and made high-level visits in the 1990s, accompanied by significant EU sales to China. Trade increased by 63% in 1993 compared with the previous year. At that time, China became Europe`s fourth largest trading partner. Even after the 1997 financial crisis, EU-China trade increased by 15% in 1998.

[13] The EU has commissioned studies to keep negotiators informed of the current trade situation, including: eu-China trade and investment relations are very important. The EU and China are strategic markets for each other, trading on average over a billion euros a day. China`s growing domestic market and economic weight represent important business opportunities for European companies. However, the Chinese market is significantly less open than that of the EU. Access by foreign investors to a number of sectors is restricted or prohibited. European companies operating in China do not enjoy the same level of transparency and fair competition as Chinese companies in the EU market. The CICA is a key tool to address this lack of balance. Despite critics` claims, the CAI should not be simplified as a “business first” attitude towards China. On the contrary, the CAI appears to be “a building block” of a multi-layered European strategy that simultaneously identifies China as a “negotiating partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival.” Therefore, this new EU approach to China seeks to reconcile two political objectives. On the one hand, despite the trade conflict between the US and China, the EU is determined to maintain its openness and promote economic governance – the CAI is a good example.

On the other hand, the Union is fully aware of Beijing`s human rights record and abusive business practices. In this context, it is currently developing instruments such as the EU`s global human rights sanctions regime, the FDI screening system and the anti-coercion tool. The European Union and China are two of the world`s largest traders. China is now the EU`s second largest trading partner after the US, and the EU is China`s largest trading partner. The EU has concluded trade agreements with these countries/regions, but both sides are currently negotiating an update. Relations between the European Union (EU) and the People`s Republic of China (PRC) and Sino-European relations are bilateral relations established in 1975 between the PRC and the European Community. According to the European External Action Service, EU-China relations are aimed at cooperation in the areas of “peace, prosperity, sustainable development and people-to-people exchanges”. [1] The EU is the PRC`s largest trading partner[2][3], and the PRC and the Republic of China are the EU`s second and fifteenth trading partners after the US[2], while the EU has imposed an arms embargo and numerous anti-dumping measures on the PRC. Full compliance, exports to EU regions, factsheets, assistance to exporters Nevertheless, the IAC is not error-free.

There is no mention of human rights in the agreement. In November and December 2020, just before the EU and China announced that they had agreed on the text, the European Parliament issued two resolutions stressing that “respect for human rights is a prerequisite for establishing trade and investment relations with the EU” and “the government-led system of forced labour”. condemned, inter alia, the exploitation of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. in Xinjiang. In addition, 36 civil society organisations have signed an open letter to the EU. The appeal calls for the inclusion of a binding human rights clause in the CAI. It also urges the EU to make its accession to the agreement conditional on China`s ratification of key human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and ILO conventions. After the end of the Cold War, relations with Europe were not as high a priority for China as relations with the United States, Japan and other Asian powers. However, interest in closer relations began to increase as economic contacts increased and interest in a multipolar system increased. Although European leaders initially imposed an arms embargo on China after Tiananmen (see section on the arms embargo below), they eased China`s isolation. China`s growing economy became the center of many European visitors, and in return, Chinese businessmen began to make frequent trips to Europe.

Europe`s interest in China led the EU to become exceptionally active with China in the 1990s with high-level exchanges. Trade between the EU and China grew faster than the Chinese economy itself, tripling in ten years, from USD 14.3 billion in 1985 to USD 45.6 billion in 1994. [13] China is now the EU`s second largest trading partner after the US, and the bloc is China`s largest trading partner, according to the EU. China and Europe trade on average more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) a day. Another source of criticism is the lack of effective commitments and implementation mechanisms for the sustainable development chapter. On paper, the agreement states that the parties will make “sustained and continuous efforts” to ratify ILO conventions on forced labour. This is a common expression in “new generation” trade and investment agreements, including sustainable development provisions, such as EU-Korea free trade agreements or EU-Vietnam free trade agreements. In practice, these indefinite commitments do not constitute a commitment to results, making it very difficult for the EU to prove a violation of the agreement as long as China makes minimal efforts to ratify ILO conventions. These gaps in the wording of sustainable development commitments were recently revealed by a ruling by the Expert Group on the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms do not apply to the chapter on sustainable development […].