EU lawmakers put ratification of EU-China investment pact on hold

The European Parliament on Thursday ruled out considering ratifying any EU-China investment deal as long as China continues sanctions on EU lawmakers.

By an overwhelming vote – 599-30, with 58 abstentions – the EP passed a resolution condemning “in the strongest possible terms the baseless and arbitrary sanctions” imposed by China on European individuals and entities, including five members of EU institutions.

The EU lawmakers said negotiations on ratifying the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment had been “justifiably frozen” due to the Chinese measures.

They also ruled out ratification as long as restrictive measures against their colleagues remain in place.

The resolution also welcomed an EU foreign ministers’ decision blacklisting four Chinese high-ranking party officials for severe human rights violations against Uyghurs and other people from the Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region.

After seven years of negotiations, the EU and China in December concluded an agreement on investment, allowing access to EU investors to the Chinese market.

In March, the EU imposed restrictive measures against four Chinese individuals and one economic entity for abuses and the large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uyghurs under the bloc’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

In response, China blacklisted over 10 European individuals, including five EU lawmakers, for “gross interference” in domestic affairs and “flagrant violation of international law.”

China’s alleged erosion of the religious, cultural, and human rights of over one million ethnic Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang over the last decade has increasingly outraged Western countries, prompting sanctions against Chinese officials and firms.

Source: Anadolu Agency