European enthusiasm, meet Chinese intransigence

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Hello from Brussels. The town has now definitely emptied out and there’s not much on the agenda until September, except of course the Brexit talks, which will have a negotiating round in the middle of the month. Expectations are not high that there will be a breakthrough then, certainly not anything that will involve the EU task force going back and consulting with the member states. The general consensus is that September/October will be the months for a deal, if there is one.

Today’s main piece sweeps up after an EU-China meeting this week that unfortunately underlines that Brussels’s attempts to forge a productive relationship with Beijing are not creating much of substance. Tall Tales examines the somewhat optimistic assessment of the growth in trade that the African Continental Free Trade Area will bring. Our chart of the day looks at the slump in chocolate demand.

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The sound of braking China

There was an EU-China high-level dialogue this week. Did you notice? No collective public pronouncements…

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