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Who wins from the EU’s new investment deal with China?

Europe has sacrificed precious geopolitical capital to reach a framework agreement. Will it be worth it?

By Isabel Hilton  

Has Chinese President Xi Jinping come out on top? Photo: Li Xueren/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

In the closing hours of the German presidency of the EU, Angela Merkel signed off on a trade text that EU negotiators had laboured on for more than seven years: the approval in principle with the People’s Republic of China on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).

The talks had begun shortly after Xi Jinping’s 2012 accession to power, and concluded in a world radically transformed since then with China’s global ambition increasingly naked, a US dramatically diminished by the Trump presidency, a European Union distracted and depressed by Brexit and a world economy that has shrunk by…

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