SCMP: China-EU investment deal – Beijing relents on human rights but will it shift on trade unions?
Thu December, 2020, Age: 3 years
As part of its recently signed Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with the European Union, China has agreed to pursue the ratification of key international human rights conventions beginning next year. (Note that China has repeatedly denied the widespread use of forced labor in internment camps in Xinjiang province.) But while Beijing appears to have made concessions on signing the forced labor conventions, it may have pushed back on requirements around the formation of independent unions and the right to collectively bargain with employers. An EU official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Post that it had failed to get Beijing to commit to two major areas: ILO covenants concerning freedom of labour unions and the right to collective bargaining, which Vietnam has agreed to; and the setting up of a new mechanism to protect European investors in China.