The European Union signaled it won’t ratify an investment agreement with China as long as its officials are sanctioned in a clash with Beijing over alleged human rights abuses, as the bloc set out strategies to counter state-funded Chinese takeovers.
“The ratification process cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the bloc’s trade chief, told reporters on Wednesday, calling China’s retaliatory sanctions against officials including members of the European Parliament “unacceptable and regrettable.”
The next steps in the ratification of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment will “depend on how the situation evolves,” Dombrovskis said. The EU imposed sanctions in March that targeted four Chinese nationals and one entity over alleged abuses on the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, which led to Beijing responding with its own sanctions.
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