Due to retaliatory sanctions imposed by Beijing on European parliamentarians, diplomats, academics and think tanks, members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to suspend the approval of the proposed agreement. Thursday’s resolution was passed with 599 votes in favour, 30 votes against and 58 abstentions.
Although it has no legal effect, the vote showed obstacles to the implementation of the agreement, which requires the approval of the European Parliament. This also reflects the shift in EU capital relative to the agreement, which only reached agreement on the political level in December.
In response to the European Union’s travel ban and the freezing of four Chinese officials and a security organization’s persecution and mass detention of Uyghur Muslims, Beijing has imposed sanctions on sanctions. China’s measures are mainly aimed at criticism of its policies, but also include EU institutions, such as the EU Political and Security Committee composed of ambassadors from 27 member states.
German green environmentalist Reinhard Bütikofer (Reinhard Bütikofer) is the head of the Chinese delegation to the European Parliament and one of the sanctioned members. He said that the legislature “will not succumb.” He said that Beijing’s efforts to conduct global dialogue and oversight on China issues are “ridiculous and conceited, and will fail.”
He said: “Due to sanctions, China miscalculated.” “They should learn from their mistakes and rethink.”
Pedro Marques, a member of the Socialist European Parliament from Portugal, said that China has been guilty of “attacks on European democracy” and declared: “We will not tolerate it.”
As the United States seeks to establish an international alliance to deal with Beijing in areas such as trade and security, the dispute over investment agreements highlights the increasingly fierce debate on EU policy towards China. European groups are expanding their economic arsenal, including proposing to ban foreign companies subsidized by certain countries from entering the EU single market.
Dutch Trade Minister Sigrid Kaag said her country “very” supports the actions taken by the European Parliament on the investment agreement.
She pointed out that “political pressure” from China is increasing, including adding Dutch parliament members from her own free D66 party to the sanctions list.
Kag also urged better coordination among EU institutions to formulate a consistent policy towards China.
She said on Thursday: “This is an example of a broader, difficult relationship. We need to find a way forward.” “We can’t just build some good modules for ourselves and then check the boxes instead of connecting the dots.”
The EU has been seeking this investment agreement for a long time, which will provide opportunities for EU companies doing business in the Chinese market while trying to resolve long-standing complaints about unfair treatment.
On the surface, industries that enjoy better access conditions include the automotive industry, private healthcare, cloud computing, and ancillary services for air transportation.
With the strong support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel), Germany pushed for this political agreement in the final days of the EU’s rotating presidency in December.
Armin Laschet, whose center-right party was nominated as chancellor of Germany in the September election, hinted on Wednesday that the deal would not be approved unless sanctions were lifted. “If you want to be [our] Partner, you must show mutual respect,” he said. “So on this issue, I hope to see the Chinese side move. ”
The Chinese delegation to the European Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.