During a press conference held by business lobby group BusinessEurope, EU trade chief Phil Hogan made it amply clear that the European Union wants China to protect foreign investment and increase access to its investment market in 2020.
The EU wants China to take “concrete progress” on opening up its markets, said Hogan.
He went on to add, the EU will not meet China halfway.
“Meeting halfway will not work for the EU. Our markets are largely open, probably the most open in the world. We have therefore have made it very clear that we expect and are demanding a rebalancing of the asymmetry,” said Hogan.
China’s strategy of pursuing prolonged negotiations to wear down the opponent has become very clear.
Since 2013, the EU and China are engaged in negotiations on an investment and are holding their 26th round of talks, scheduled to end on Tuesday, following a second exchange of offers in December.
Progress in the negotiations have been slow and the EU is not impressed by China’s latest offer.
While Chinese companies are being given equal treatment with European firms in Europe, with fair and predictable laws, China is not providing the same level playing field to European companies in China.
“It’s up to China to level the playing field for our companies operating in their country,” said Hogan.