Paul van Gerven
10 April

China pledges to level the playing field for European companies looking to access the Chinese market. In a joint declaration, signed after a summit in Brussels Tuesday, the European Union and China agreed to eliminate forced technology and IP transfer practices in exchange for access to markets, increase efforts to ban state subsidies for industries, and support WTO reform to remove trade barriers. The promise of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang that European companies would be treated equally was hailed as ‘a breakthrough’ by the EU, though European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker noted China needs to follow through. Critics say Beijing has promised reform in the past without acting on it.