The Point: China, EU sign landmark investment deal

The 35th round of negotiations on an investment agreement between China and the EU – a landmark deal that closely ties the economic interests of China and Europe – concludes on Friday and the agreement is expected to be signed in late 2020 before Joe Biden officially takes the oath of office. President of the United States in January 2021.

Progress towards an agreement is in full swing as the US and EU aim to mend transatlantic ties and Joseph Biden (Joseph Robinette Biden) is actively promoting an ideological alliance with Europe to counter the influence of China, which is now increasing its pressure on China on human rights issues and harshly criticizes so-called diplomacy «Wolf warrior» (Diplomacy "wolf warrior" describes the aggressive style of diplomacy purportedly adopted by Chinese diplomats in the 21st century under the regime of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.).

The European Union has extremely high, or even desirable, expectations that the Joe Biden administration will return the United States to the status of the leader of the West, which could affect relations between China and the EU, as Brussels carries out its relations with Beijing and Washington in a trilateral game of trade and diplomacy, Chinese experts said..

The EU will likely seek common ground with the Biden administration to pressure China on issues such as human rights, ideology, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, but China does not want the cooperation and consensus it has reached with the EU to be affected, they noted. experts.

Gao Feng (Gao Feng), a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference on Thursday that China and the EU are in the midst of 35th round of negotiations on an investment agreement between China and the EU, and both sides are seeking to resolve «remaining problems» and realize the goals set by the leaders of the two sides.

However, in a Reuters article published on the same day, the EU Ambassador Nicholas Chapuis (Nicolas Chapuis) ​​said at an energy forum in Beijing that the EU hopes to reach an agreement with the new US administration on China policy.

«We must have a common understanding to say «no» intimidation and coercive diplomacy, diplomacy "wolf warrior"», – he said, as reported by Reuters, referring to China’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy and confident diplomatic style..

Wang Yiwei (Wang Yiwei), director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China, said that the return of the US establishment elite seems to have made some EU officials «too excited», as they can’t wait to be able to back the US to reach some strategic consensus on China, but neither side is likely to see the transatlantic relationship return to the same level as it was in the past.

Discussion «a common threat from China» will not help resolve key issues and disagreements between the EU and the US, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies told the Global Times Cui Hongjiang (Cui Hongjian).

According to Tsui, the EU has a long «list of problems» for the US after Biden came to power, including trade tensions, digital services tax, carbon tariffs, extraterritorial jurisdiction, NATO budget, ties with Turkey, and Iranian nuclear deal.

According to Chinese analysts, the main priorities for the new Biden administration will be internal issues, so the United States will not be able to quickly solve problems with the EU, which will allow China to expand cooperation with the EU..

«China is ready for some changes from the EU, but no matter how much disagreement or friction occurs, we hope that trade, investment agreements and other existing cooperation will not be affected», – noted Cui.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping (Xi Jinping) and President of France Emmanuel Macron (Emmanuel Macron) reached an important consensus on the next phase of Sino-French cooperation during a phone call Wednesday night.

Wang Yiwei said the call was a signal that China wants to reaffirm and consolidate a consensus that both sides can agree on at the moment and make sure it doesn’t change in the future..

Political changes in the EU could mean that France will become one of the leading countries in the regional alliance, so the ties between China and France will become more significant.

The heads of the two states discussed issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, reached a number of important consensus and instructed the relevant departments of both countries to intensify cooperation in a number of areas, including combating the COVID-19 pandemic, developing vaccines, combating climate change and space exploration..

Since independence is a traditional virtue of its foreign policy, France attaches great importance to developing relations with China and is ready to work with it to deepen bilateral cooperation and cooperation between the EU and China, Macron said, adding that he looks forward to EU and Chinese investments. This agreement will be reached in the near future..

Prior to his telephone conversation with Macron on November 24, Xi had a telephone conversation with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel) on EU-China Investment Agreement and Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation.

Analysts noted that Germany, the EU heavyweight, plays an important role in the triangle of relations between China, the EU and the US.

By supporting a conservative ideology and not abandoning its human rights differences with China, Germany remains the most decisive leader in an independent Europe..

Biggest deal between China and EU expected by the end of the year

The European Union will benefit more than China from the signing of the agreement, as it will open up the Chinese market much more open to the EU, but now «The EU believes China is also desperate for this deal as it could make China more secure in the face of pressure and trade friction with the US », – Cui said, adding that the US administration, ruled by the establishment elites, will return, which could make the EU more assertive in negotiations with China..

«But understanding the requirements offered by the EU is critical. It depends on how China understands these requirements, based on its own economic interests and its new idea. «domestic and international double circulation». Some requests from the EU may also serve to open up and reform China, so such an agreement is very likely to be signed soon.», – said Cui Hongjiang.

Long-awaited investment agreement between China and EU to be reached «by the end of the year», – China’s ambassador to the European Union told the media in November Zhang Ming (Zhang Ming).

Huang Renwei (Huang Renwei), Executive Deputy Dean, Fudan Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance), announced on December 5 at the Global Times Annual Forum that the elites in Biden’s team would shift the competition from China from «hard power» on the «soft power».

The United States, along with its allies, could launch an ideological offensive against China, and the Beijing Winter Olympics could be their target.

China is preparing for a potential diplomatic conflict with the US, according to Chinese experts, noting that ensuring that Europe does not follow US hostility to China is an important task, and if France and the EU maintain their traditional foreign policy independence, then China’s ties will remain stable with the EU, no matter what the United States of America takes.

According to Chinese analysts, the EU is now in an advantageous position in a trilateral game involving China and the United States, and how much the EU is able to maintain its independence will determine how much it can lose in this game..

EU wants to use «China’s notorious challenge», to force the USA «return to the multilateral system and become a leader again», and the US will be reluctant to satisfy the EU in everything, so you play «Chinese card» with the US can justify the EU’s demands on China in front of the US so that NATO can be supported by more excuses and motivations, Cui said.

Wang Yiwei said that the EU will understand that China is the largest and most stable market in the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic era, so they will not be fooled or used by the US and will not become extremely hostile towards China..

Cui said that the new Biden administration and the elite of the American establishment are promising the EU that inflicted Donald Trump (Donald Trump) The damage to transatlantic ties will never happen again, but few believe such promises.

Sooner or later, the EU will realize that the multilateral approach proposed by the Biden administration is in fact «multilateral approach led by the USA», and if the US fails to lead the entire system, the US will revert to a unilateral approach, Wang said, adding that «the multilateralism offered by China is real and closer to the one at the heart of the EU».

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