China seeks German help in solar spat
Global Times | 2012-10-12 1:15:05
By Bai Tiantian
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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang Thursday urged Germany to push the European Union not to target China's solar panel industry in trade protectionism.

"The development of China's solar panel industry helps address global climate change. It can also help with the EU's green industry and create more jobs," said Li during his meeting with the visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

"I hope Germany will actively work to facilitate the EU to handle its trade disputes with China through consultation and cooperation," Li said.

In July, Germany's SolarWorld and other European solar panel makers filed a complaint seeking import tariffs on Chinese-made solar products, claiming that their Chinese competitors received low-interest loans from the government.

The European Commission decided to begin a formal investigation on September 6. It is the largest dispute involving China in terms of trade volume.

Westerwelle voiced Germany's stern opposition to trade protectionism.

Westerwelle started his three-day visit to China on Thursday, as the two countries celebrate their 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Despite thorny issues at a human rights dialogue earlier this week, analysts said relations were healthy due to greater common interests.

"The ties were strengthened especially after the eurozone debt crisis as Germany tries to remain one of the largest exporting nations in the world," Li Lezeng, a German studies professor from Tongji University, told the Global Times.

Apart from strong economic ties, China and Germany also share some common views on key strategic issues such as solving the Syria issue via political means, Chen Zhimin, a professor with the Center for European Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.

The 10th China-Germany human rights dialogue was held on Monday and Tuesday in Germany, where officials from both sides talked about criminal justice, human rights protection and minority groups, Xinhua reported.

The German side touched on issues involving Tibetans and the exiled Chinese writer in Germany, Liao Yiwu, who will receive a publishing peace prize from Germany on Sunday, according to German media reports.

Xinhua contributed to this story


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