Daniel Gros, in this Project Syndicate piece, did not have much hopes on the promise of the CAI in terms of liberalising investment between the two partners. An important point he makes on the ability of legal instruments to make a difference when one's internal economy is already "liberalised' is interestng. Therefore, when one's regulations are less of a barrier, international instruments do not add as much value as intended.
Critics of the CAI neglect to mention that the EU had little leverage because investment in Europe is already mostly liberalized. The EU therefore could not offer meaningful improvements for Chinese investors. And you if you have little to offer in a negotiation, you cannot expect much from the other side. Under these circumstances, we should not have expected an agreement that addresses every social or human-rights problem Europeans see in China.
I was taking a cursory glance at the dispute settlement provisions of the CAI.
No ISDS, no appeal mechanism. Is State to State arbitration back in business?