With a landmark China-EU investment deal in the balance, European ambassadors have called on Beijing to create the political space to overcome a “trust deficit” to help revive the agreement, reported the South China Morning Post.
Beijing and Brussels signed the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment in December but the deal has yet to be ratified in Europe as the two sides caught in a stand-off over tit-for-tat sanctions.
Nicolas Chapuis, the European Union’s top envoy to Beijing, said Beijing’s defensive attitude towards outside criticism and its claims that the Chinese system was “superior” to that of the West prompted Europeans to ask whether China was challenging the political foundation of its relationship with liberal democracies.
“Over the last 18 months, it is true the political space for mutual understanding and mutual trust has been negatively impacted,” Chapuis said during a panel session at the World Peace Forum at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “It brings to us concerns that these attitudes are not only assertive but it’s turning too aggressive, much to our dislike.”