The European Commission said on Tuesday that efforts to secure approval for the EU’s massive investment deal with China had effectively been “on hold” given the sour diplomatic relations between the two sides following titular sanctions. fort-tat.
“We have now kind of suspended… political awareness activities on the European Commission side,” EU executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis told AFP in an interview.
“It is clear in the current situation with the EU sanctions in place against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions in place, including against Members of the European Parliament (that) the environment is not conducive to the ratification of the agreement, ”said Dombrovskis.
Trying to ratify the deal “will really depend on how the EU-China relationship develops,” he added.
To the surprise of many, the European Union and China approved a major investment pact at the end of December, ending seven years of laborious negotiations thanks to a final push from Germany.
The pact was championed as a much-needed opening to the long-closed Chinese economy for European businesses, but it was sure to face difficult ratification among the 27 member states as well as the European Parliament.
Dombrovskis, a former Latvian prime minister, is responsible for leading this approval process in the EU, which has already met with rejection from top MEPs.
The European Union sanctioned four Chinese officials in March for alleged human rights violations in the Xinjiang region, in China’s far west.
China has responded by imposing its own sanctions against European politicians, academics and research groups.
© 2021 AFP