A senior Chinese official has voiced optimism after an EU-China agreement in principle was struck ahead of a 31 December deadline. The comments come amid sharp criticism from a senior Russian official over the Trump administration’s “unsubstantiated” sanctions diplomacy.
An investment deal between China and the European Union, which is seven years in the making, could conclude soon, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said at a meeting of envoys in Beijing on Monday.
The talks come as officials on both sides remain deadlocked over EU accusations of forced labour camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which Beijing has repeatedly denied.
Last week, the EU handed China a series of texts – which have now been made public – detailing numerous concerns about alleged forced human labour in Xinjiang, despite Beijing reiterating that the measures are due to ongoing terrorism efforts against separatists.
A final Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) would boost China-EU relations amid a massive trade and diplomatic row with the United States, the South China Morning Post reported.
But Beijing has refused to ratify standards from the International Labour Organisation, which the European Parliament says are vital for inking the CAI, EU officials reportedly said.
He added the parliamentary committee would “judge the CAI based on the final text and we will take our time to do so.”
But Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said on Tuesday that…