As the United States becomes more and more an unpredictable global player under the Donald Trump presidency – ignoring international agreements and disrupting the rule-based world order – the EU and China are increasingly seeing each other. as allies willing to defend multilateralism in their relations with developing countries. problems.
Since Trump inaugurated its “America First” policy, China has begun to present itself as a champion of multilateralism and rules-based global trade.
The EU encouraged China to play a central role in the fight against protectionism, but insisted that it needed to reform to be fair to European investors and traders.
China is the EU’s main source of imports and its second largest export market, while China and Europe trade on average over € 1 billion a day.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Ming told the conference that “sustainable development would be out of the question without a strong economic recovery and a rules-based trading and investment environment.”
“We must firmly defend the free, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, and fight against protectionism in any form or under any pretext.” China and the EU share a common responsibility in this regard, ” said the Chinese ambassador.
Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen agreed that the EU and China should be “exemplary” in refusing unilateralism.
Global Trade Alert, a Swiss-based trade watchdog, however, warned in a report Thursday that the concept of global overcapacity, commonly cited against China, was exaggerated to justify US protectionism.
In 2016, Chinese investment flows into the EU reached a record level of almost € 40 billion, while EU investment in China fell to less than € 8 billion, while their low level in 10 years. The issue should be addressed in the framework of the EU-China Investment Agreement, which has been under negotiation since 2013 without decisive breakthroughs.
“The EU-China Investment Treaty will provide a clear framework for all European companies and will advocate for more trade relations between China and the EU,” he said.
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