The EU-China comprehensive agreement on investment: Between strategic opportunity and strategic autonomy
This article critically analyzes the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) concluded in principle between the European Union (EU) and China in December 2020. The EU previously hailed the CAI as “the most ambitious agreement China has reached with a third country.” However, this article argues the CAI does not add much in substance and that the key factor in understanding the agreement lies in the larger strategic and geopolitical rather than economic interests of the EU and China. Finally, it reviews the concepts of China’s “strategic opportunity” and EU’s “strategic autonomy” and analyzes their future impact on the CAI.
This publication originally appeared as Henry S. Gao, “The EU-China comprehensive agreement on investment: Between strategic opportunity and strategic autonomy,” Asian Yearbook of International Economic Law, (2022), pp. 1-21. Copyright remains with the original holders.