Beijing is committed to easing the demands on European companies in China. Foreign companies now have to work with Chinese entrepreneurs, and a significant portion of the shares must be in Chinese hands. China will also be more open to subsidies for state-owned companies, which should ensure fairer conditions of competition.
For Beijing, the contract means that China will continue to have access to the European market. This is important as the Chinese government feared that the EU would team up with new US President Joe Biden to crack down on China.
Chinese state media describe the deal as a “milestone” that will lead to better cooperation between China and the EU. For Germany, the treaty is a great success at the last minute of its EU presidency.
“Waited with sadness”
Brussels and Beijing have been negotiating the agreement for seven years. It remains to be seen whether this deal will really help European companies further in the Chinese market. Beijing has often made empty promises. “We are eagerly awaiting the details of this deal,” said Jörg Wuttke, head of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.
In addition, the European Parliament has yet to approve the treaty. This was very critical of China last year. The agreement is not expected to enter into force until 2022 at the earliest.
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