During a phone conversation with his Italian counterpart on Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged to join efforts and ratify the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) as early as possible, injecting a fresh dose of optimism into the massive investment deal that’s still hanging in the air.
China and the EU could engage in open and pragmatic cooperation and settle differences through dialogue and negotiation based on mutual respect, the premier said during his conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
“China-EU cooperation will drive global economic recovery,” according to a statement from the central government, citing the premier who urged for joint efforts to sign and implement the CAI as early as possible.
Italy, an important EU member, is anticipated to continue playing an active part in promoting the healthy and stable development of China-EU ties, the premier stressed, adding that, “the Chinese side is willing to boost collaboration with Italy in areas such as trade, investment, energy, and tackling climate change.”
For his part, Draghi voiced his willingness to deepen partnerships with China in the spheres of energy, aviation, economy, and trade and investment, noting that Italy supports proceeding with the CAI pact though dialogue as early as possible.
Earlier this month, the EU apparently deviated from comments by Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the block, about the suspension of the ratification of the deal. An EU spokesperson later claimed that comments by Dombrovskis were taken out of context, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
“The agreement needs to be now legally reviewed and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the ratification process of the deal cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship,” according to a written statement from the EU published by the SCMP.
China and the EU closed seven years of negotiations over the CAI at the end of 2020 and the European block said it wants the ratification process to be completed by 2022.