In December 2020, at the end of her tenure as German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed through the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) – which had been negotiated in 35 meetings over a seven year period and was intended to replace individual bilateral treaties between EU member states and China. This move caused some consternation to the incoming Biden Administration, which signaled its desire to work with Europe to address common concerns regarding China’s economic practices even before entering office. However, due to actions taken by Beijing in the spring of 2021, there was a sudden spike in mistrust of China in Brussels and EU member states – and in May 2021 the European Parliament voted to freeze the ratification of the agreement.
Although CAI was short-lived, it offers an interesting window into the debate in Germany about German and European economic relations with China. Join the ACG for a discussion about the evolving debate in Germany about China with 2021 ACG DZ Bank Fellow Dr. Lily McElwee, who currently is a Fellow at the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.