SOURCE / ECONOMY
Pompeo eats 'sour grape' to claim China-EU investment pact as 'weak': FM
Published: Jan 06, 2021 05:41 PM

Aerial photo taken on Feb. 17, 2020 shows a China-Europe freight train fully loaded with auto parts, mechanical facilities and garments bound for Moscow of Russia and Minsk of Belarus waiting for departure at Xiangtang railway port in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province. Photo:Xinhua

 

The China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is a sore point for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who commented earlier the deal is "weak", said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing on Wednesday, adding that the agreement is widely regarded as a milestone in guiding China-EU economic and trade cooperation to new heights, and it is also a victory for multilateralism.

Pompeo alleged that the deal "didn't protect the European workers from the predation of the Chinese Communist Party, and they get to make their own decisions". He made the remarks during an interview on Tuesday released on the website of US Department of State.

"Do you smell sour grapes? If the China-EU CAI cannot protect European workers as Pompeo alleged, how would the US government protect European workers by imposing punitive tariffs on imported products from European countries?" Hua asked.

China and the EU completed CAI negotiations before the year-end of 2020, after 35 rounds of negotiations over more than 7 years. The treaty will benefit a quarter of the world's population.

"The two sides concluded the China-EU comprehensive investment agreement negotiations in a concerted effort, having reached a balance, high-level, mutually beneficial investment treaty," Hua added. 

Since China joined the WTO in 2001, commodities trade between China and the EU has grown from $76.6 billion to $705.1 billion in 2019, according to statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce. The bilateral trade recorded year-on-year growth of 4.7 percent from January to November in 2020, even under the impact of COVID-19.

Hua said that the BIT is widely regarded as a victory for multilateralism, especially at a time when the pandemic has hit the global economy hard, which is conducive to promoting global economic recovery, and safeguarding an open, rules-based world economy.

"The treaty demonstrates China's determination and confidence in promoting high-level opening-up, whilst provides greater market access, better business environment, and brighter prospects for China-EU mutual investment. China is ready to continue active cooperation with all parties, including the EU, to expand the pie of common interests and achieve higher levels of mutual benefits," said the spokesperson.


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