China and the European Union are on the brink of closing a directional investment deal. Xi Jinping and EU representatives are expected to complete the agreement draft tomorrow, the actual signature and ratification will take a few months more due to legislative and translation reasons.
The agreement, which has been negotiated since 2014, grants EU member states vast possibilities for investments across all sectors of the Chinese industry. Moreover, it is designed to create a “level playing field” ensuring fair competitive environments and ties the signatories to particular environmental and employment law standards.
Particularly the latter has been very important from European standpoint as the Union pushes China to sign international treaties on the protection of labourers. This may cause controversy in the light of the alleged detention and forced labor of the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.
Criticism of the German-led efforts to close the deal so soon is also coming from transnational partners. The Biden administration would have “welcomed early consultations on common concerns about China's economic practices” and favored multilateral approaches.