Efforts to ratify agreement with China “suspended”

EU chief trade officials have withheld efforts to ratify a controversial investment agreement with China on May 4, after sanctions have been imposed on human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Said.

“We have now, in a sense … stopped political support from the European Commission,” EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told the French news agency. AFP on Tuesday.

The agreement, commonly known as the EU-China Investment Comprehensive Agreement (CAI), was, in principle, agreed in December last year after seven years of negotiations with the final push by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

To pass, the CAI must be approved by the EU Council and the European Parliament, where it faces massive opposition.

“It is clear in the current situation that EU sanctions against China and China’s counter-sanctions, including those against members of the European Parliament, are being implemented. [that] The environment has not encouraged ratification of the agreement, “Dombrovsky said.

On April 28, more than 30 members of the European Parliament (MEP) warned that the deal would need to be “on ice” until the sanctions were lifted.

In March, the Chinese administration imposed sanctions on 10 EU citizens, including five MEPs, alleging “serious interference” with domestic affairs and “significantly violating international law.”

The move is a retaliation for the EU’s first sanctions against China for human rights abuses against the Uighur muslin minority over 30 years, including representatives of four regions and parties and organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. .. More than one million Uighurs are detained in internment camps, defined by the Communist Party administration as “vocational training schools.”

An EU spokesperson said Beijing’s sanctions on European Parliamentarians were “unacceptable and regrettable” in a statement, the South China Morning Post reported.

“The contract must be legally reviewed and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the ratification process. [deal] According to the statement, it is inseparable from the evolving dynamics of broader EU-China relations.

France’s MEP Nathalie Loiseau said the Commission is realistic.

“The European Commission is paying close attention to reality. The European Parliament is not ready to ratify the agreement with China in a clearly negative climate, with room for improvement,” she said. I will. Written on twitter..

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt Written on twitter, “Yes! We need a balanced relationship [and] Provisional agreement with China. “

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