European Parliament freezes Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI)

The European Parliament froze the ratification of the recent Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) signed between the European Union (EU) and China.

Above all, MEPs are critical of recent Chinese sanctions against EU lawmakers and will not consider any talks about ratifying the Comprehensive Investment Agreement for as long as they remain.

For his part, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce replied this Friday: “We believe that the China-EU Investment Agreement is a mutually beneficial agreement. This approach (of the European Parliament) is not in the common interest of both parties.

On December 30, 2020, the EU and China reached an agreement in principle on the Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which covers market access.

Both parties committed to finalizing detailed negotiations on investment protections covered by the Agreement, which will require ratification, within two years.

For example, as part of that agreement, China has agreed to remove joint venture requirements, forced technology transfer, share capital limits and quantitative restrictions in various sectors in which most EU companies operate in China.

It will also protect the EU’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in China.

In the manufacturing sector, where half of the EU’s FDI is located, China will “match the opening of the EU”.

Comprehensive Investment Agreement

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, Parliament condemns in the strongest terms the unfounded and arbitrary sanctions recently imposed by the Chinese authorities on various European individuals and entities, including five MEPs.

The members claim that the Beijing measure is an attack on fundamental freedoms and urge the Chinese authorities to lift these totally unjustified restrictive measures.

The text was approved by 599 votes in favor, 30 against and 58 abstentions.

Talks on the ratification of the Comprehensive Investment Agreement are not possible for now.


The resolution emphasizes that any consideration by the European Parliament of the Comprehensive Investment Agreement, as well as any discussion about its mandatory ratification by MEPs, has «justified it has been frozen» due to Chinese sanctions.

MEPs demand that China lift the sanctions before considering the agreement, «without prejudice to the final result of the CAI ratification process.»

They also remind the European Commission that MEPs will take into account the human rights situation in China, including Hong Kong, when deciding whether to support the deal or not.

The text considers, however, that other trade and investment agreements with regional partners, including Taiwan, should not be held hostage to the suspension of the ratification of the CAI.

Despite Beijing’s reaction, Parliament welcomes the inclusion by the EU of four Chinese individuals and one entity in its EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, due to their role in serious rights violations. against Uighurs and people from other Muslim ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.


The Chinese sanctions imposed in March on various European political entities and representatives, including five members of the European Parliament and the Subcommittee on Human Rights, were an act of retaliation in response to the EU decision to enact restrictive measures against four Chinese officials for abuses. rights campaign against the Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.

The MEPs in question are Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens/ALE, Germany), Michael Gahler (PPE, Germany), Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D, France), Ilhan Kyuchyuk (Renew Europe, Bulgaria) and Miriam Lexmann (PPE, Slovakia).