Nearly a decade has passed and, although some progress has been made, many tensions remain. Today, EU officials are clearly showing that the prospects for reaching an agreement by the end of the year – a delay that Agatha Kratz, deputy director of the Rhodium Group research centre, described as «hopeless» are slim. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said after a high-level dialogue with Chinese President Xi Jinping: «China needs to convince us that it is worth having an investment deal.» And the EU is preparing to set up mechanisms for reviewing and limiting foreign investment in Europe that would operate independently of the CAI. These agreements were made possible because China has shown greater political will – without breaking the Sino-US bilateral agreement on China`s accession to the WTO – and the EU has shown trade pragmatism by accepting further concessions inside and outside the financial sector. Can this formula once again use its magic to help the EU and China agree on access to financial markets before the conclusion of the CAI? «The talks are now in a critical phase, we expect the EU to expect China to be pragmatic and constructive, so that we can address the outstanding issues and reach a comprehensive, balanced and high-level agreement by the end of the year,» Zhang said. In doing so, he crushed London`s concerns over the Harry Dunn extradition case and continued to harass China at a press briefing with his counterpart Dominic Raab, who was forced to deny to the media that Britain was not «strongly armed» against Huawei. This is being done in the midst of discussions for a trade agreement between the two countries. At a summit yesterday (1 October), a minute before midnight, European Union leaders issued a statement calling for a fairer and more reciprocal economic relationship with the world`s second-largest economy. They also stressed that it is time to negotiate an eight-year investment agreement that, among other things, will address some of the EU`s concerns about market access for its companies in China and the transparency of Chinese state-owned enterprises.
However, experts warn that the agreement will be less and less concluded. The agreement, which the Council of the EU calls «the first significant bilateral trade agreement between the EU and China,» promises protection for the rights of 100 EU food products in the Chinese market (such as European wine and cheese), with the same guarantee for 100 China-related products in Europe. . . .