China, EU reach investment deal in principle

China and the European Union have concluded in principle their seven-year negotiations on a business investment deal.

Leaders of China and the EU held a videoconference on Wednesday and agreed on a pact aimed at boosting investment between the two sides.

A focal point of their discussions was the protection of workers in China. The EU says people in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are being forced to work and urges China to improve the situation.

Another sticking point was a practice in China in which European businesses are forced to transfer their technology in exchange for local market access.

The EU says China agreed to pursue ratification of an international treaty that bans forced labor and make improvements on the issue of forced technology transfer.

The EU says the agreement is the most ambitious that China has ever clinched with a third country. But some in the EU say China's commitments to the protection of workers fall short.