In late 2020 the European Union (EU) managed to conclude an investment agreement with China, the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), but since then ratification of the agreement has become highly uncertain.
The agreement had already been criticised by some EU member states and the incoming Biden administration but seemed to fall apart due to the EU and China applying sanctions on each other in early 2021.
This episode highlighted many of the challenges that the EU faces as it builds a China strategy, particularly in the context of the US-China rivalry. While both parties continue to see the benefits of cooperation, political tensions and increasing economic competition are complicating the relationship between the EU and China.
- What does the recent episode tell us about the EU-China economic relationship in the future?
- Will increased political tensions between the EU and China stand in the way of eventually finalising the agreement?
- What influence will the reinvigoration of the transatlantic relationship under president Biden have?
- Does the EU need to rethink its China strategy?
Our panellists explore these questions and present some of the findings of a recent Chatham House research paper on EU-China economic relations.
Dr Yu Jie, Senior Research Fellow on China, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House
Dr Robert Basedow, Assistant Professor for International Political Economy, London School of Economics
Pepijn Bergsen, Research Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Chair: Hans Kundnani, Director, Europe Programme, Chatham House