Germany should intervene in EU protectionist biases against Chinese trade

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/6/13 23:33:01

Angela Merkel is paying her ninth visit to China since she became German chancellor in 2005. The frequency of her visits to China is quite rare for a Western leader and it reflects the depth and width of Sino-German relations.

On Monday, Merkel co-chaired an intergovernmental consultation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, to further strengthen their top planning for bilateral relations, enrich their comprehensive strategic partnership, and expand and deepen their bilateral cooperation.

Since the mechanism for intergovernmental consultation between China and Germany was established in 2011, both sides have held three rounds of consultation.

It is also the first such mechanism established between China and a European country and has become the most important platform for planning and advancing Sino-German cooperation.

How to step up Sino-German coordination and cooperation under the framework of the Group of 20 (G20) was high on the agenda of the fourth round of consultation between the two countries, as China will host the G20 summit in September and Germany will host it in 2017.

Facing the weak recovery of the world economy, countries like the US and Japan have attempted to get rid of their predicament via stronger monetary easing policies, which have generated various negative spillover effects.

China and Germany have always advocated achieving economic growth and sustainable development through innovation and structural reform. Further strengthening macro policy coordination between them will help reinforce the recovery and stability of the world economy.

"Innovation" has been the focus of Sino-German economic and trade cooperation in recent years, and the two countries have decided to push ahead with the establishment of a mutually beneficial "innovation partnership" as their industrial and technological cooperation has deepened.

In addition, currently, the two countries are vigorously pushing for the docking of China's "Made In China 2025" blueprint and Germany's "Industrial 4.0" strategy, and the intergovernmental consultation has added new contents to the docking.

"Industry 4.0" is the latest industrial trend in Germany, which seeks to keep the country's global competitiveness by integrating conventional industries with information technology, while China has rolled out a "Made in China 2025" strategy to upgrade itself.

There is also great potential for China and Germany to jointly explore a third-party market. With the "Belt and Road" initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank gaining steam, the two countries will jointly boost infrastructure construction in Asia. Surely the two sides have to deal with some differences, such as China's steel capacity and China's market economy status.

It is believed that cooperation between China and Germany -- a weighty member of the EU - in properly settling the related issues will contribute to sound development of Sino-German and Sino-European economic and trade ties.

It should be noted that only 7.6 percent of China's total steel exports go to the EU market, accounting for 14 percent of the latter's steel imports. Exaggerating China's steel overcapacity issue and trade frictions or differences will mar Sino-German and Sino-European relations.

The EU should stop basing its anti-dumping investigations into Chinese goods on its "surrogate country system" in 2016 under the agreement signed when China joined the World Trade Organization.

The EU has refused to fulfill its obligations under the international treaty and practices "substitute protectionism."

Germany can and should play an active role in properly solving such issues. It serves German interests and will help expand China-Germany and China-European pragmatic cooperation.

This is a commentary of the Xinhua News Agency.

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