China and the EU are rushing to meet a year-end deadline to seal a long-awaited investment agreement, in a sign of the bloc’s push to build strategic ties with Beijing, even as it revives relations with the US, reported the Financial Times.
The likelihood of the accord being settled soon is rising despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis, officials from both sides have told the Financial Times. A shift by Beijing in the important area of market access has given the process additional momentum, EU officials said.
The EU has long yearned for an agreement to allow its companies wider entry to the Chinese market, and the two sides agreed last year that it should be concluded by the end of 2020.
“The talks are now in the final stage,” Zhang Ming, China’s ambassador to the EU, said in an interview with the FT. “Both sides are working towards the objective of finishing the talks by the end of this year.”