Weekly News – May 1-7, 2021


Has the EU suspended efforts to ratify the investment agreement with China?

The AFP’s tweet announcing “#BREAKING EU suspends efforts to ratify investment agreement with China: commissioner” sparked great debate among EU-China observers.

But an EU spokeswoman has said that Valdis Dombrovskis’s comments had been taken out of context. The EU declared:” The agreement needs to be now legally reviewed and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the ratification process cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the wider EU-China relationship.”

China, meanwhile, has urged EU leaders to make faster progress on the treaty.

Sources: SCMP, Reuters, RFI (in Chinese), The Guardian.


China has “indefinitely suspended” the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue.

The suspension of high-level trade dialogue with Canberra is just the latest phase of an ongoing diplomatic and economic confrontation between the two countries, which began last year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This action is considered a retaliation to the Australian government who stopped Victoria state’s Belt and Road Initiative Memorandum of Agreement in April.

The former Australian trade minister said that “direct face-to-face communication is fundamental to initiating the rebuilding of our political relationship.”

Sources: SCMP, Reuters.


Domestic tourism on China’s May Day

As for Chinese people, it is still impossible to travel abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So the May Day Holiday or International Labour Day – a five-day break for Chinese workers – was both an opportunity for domestic travel and a boost for local economies that had otherwise been severely affected by the health crisis.

According to official data, more than 56 million trips were made on last Saturday, a 111% rise from last year. The Ministry of Transport registered 1.9 million trips made by air and 36 million on the roads.

In Wuhan, the first city hit by the virus last year, 1 million people took a trip by train and more than 1 million vehicles hit the roads.

Sources: SCMP, Reuters, The Insider.



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