Legal reviews of China-EU investment deal now in progress: Ministry of Commerce
Published: Mar 25, 2021 09:18 PM
China EU Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Negotiating groups for the China-EU comprehensive agreement on investment from both sides are working on the necessary legal reviews, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday, days after the European Parliament canceled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the agreement.

"The China-EU investment deal matches both sides' interests and is also in line with the world's interests," Gao Feng, a ministry spokesperson, said at a news briefing on Thursday.

Gao's statement shows that the technical work for the agreement is still in progress despite the European Parliament's action, which is more likely to be a political move induced by the spat over Xinjiang, Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Thursday.

After 35 rounds of talks starting in 2013, China and the EU wrapped up negotiations on December 30, 2020. After that, the two sides started related technical work for the final ratification.

The European Parliament's cancelation of the meeting to discuss the agreement came after rounds of spats between the two over allegation of "forced labor" in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which led to mutual sanctions on each side's individuals and entities.

According to Chen, once the two sides finished the negotiations, much technical work -- including legal reviews -- needed to be done before the deal comes into force.

"It's been only three months since the negotiations finished, and it is expected to still take some time to finish this reviewing work, so it is the EU side that is politicizing this deal."

"The China-EU deal is indeed beneficial for both sides, and it is more open than the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, but it is too soon to give a conclusion on the final result as it also requires a sound political atmosphere," Chen said.

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