October 24, 2021

Europe Signs New Trade Deal with China

Europe Signs New Trade Deal with China

Was the investment deal Europe signed with China worth it?

By Annabelle Timsit
Geopolitics reporter

January 15, 2021

On Dec. 30. the EU and China agreed in principle on a deal that will govern their bilateral investment going forward.

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was first proposed in 2012, as Europe increasingly saw its economic future in Asia (pdf), and sought out deeper ties with Beijing. Their relations have taken a hit since then, poisoned by the US-China trade war and a crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Many—this writer included—thought the CAI would fall victim to these tensions.

But that didn’t happen. Chinese president Xi Jinping got involved to move the talks forward and German chancellor Angela Merkel committed to reaching a deal by the end of 2020.

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