Former Prime Minister of Denmark and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen offered heavy criticism of the EU-China Common Agreement on Investment (CAI) in remarks made to a meeting of senior legislators from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) on Thursday evening.
Speaking on the hasty conclusion of the seven year negotiations, which took many observers by surprise, Rasmussen commented:
“China saw an opportunity to split the EU and the new Biden administration. The Chinese all of a sudden moved and the EU was a bit too naive and signed the agreement.”
Rassmussen also commented on the strategic gains made by the Chinese government in signing CAI, saying:
“China is the big winner of this investment agreement. They have split Europe and the US. They have legitimised the Beijing government vis a vis Hong Kong, Taiwan and minorities in China, and they have secured a huge amount of EU investment.”
Rasmussen encouraged the parliamentarians present to take cross party action to amend or stop the agreement and to call for deepened European economic cooperation with Taiwan, saying:
“I don’t rule out that the European Parliament could still block this deal; but at the very least MEPs should seek to amend the CAI to demand China delivers its promises on reciprocity and labour rights. With China we need to distrust but verify.”
“I hope that a powerful response would be to initiate similar negotiations with Taiwan. We should insist the EU conducts an investment agreement with Taiwan as a countermeasure.”
IPAC legislators from 14 parliaments across four continents were present at the meeting, including German Greens Reinhard Bütikofer MEP and Margarete Bause MdB, EPP MEP Miriam Lexmann and French En Marche! Senator André Gattolin.