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European Union puts investment deal with China on ice
Published on: 2021-05-08
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The European Union took steps on Wednesday to guard against economic competition from China that it deems unfair, a sign of growing distrust after Western sanctions over rights abuses and Chinese retaliation.

The bloc's executive arm, the European Commission, unveiled plans to cut dependency on Chinese and other foreign suppliers in six strategic areas, and to limit the ability of companies supported by foreign subsidies to buy EU businesses or take part in public tenders.

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told a news conference there have been rules controlling state aid from European governments for 60 years, but none to stop foreign subsidies being used to buy up firms inside the 27-nation bloc.

The Commission is also pausing efforts to promote the China comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI), recognising that it will struggle to secure backing from EU lawmakers while Beijing maintains sanctions on five of their colleagues.

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