Chinese vice commerce minister urges EU to avoid moves that may escalate trade tensions
Published: Jun 03, 2024 01:05 PM
A visitor (R) study a new energy vehicle during the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2024. The exhibition closed on Saturday. Photo: Xinhua

A visitor (R) studies a new energy vehicle during the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2024. Photo: Xinhua

China hopes that the EU can match words with deeds by avoiding a trade war with China or take other moves which may escalate trade tensions, and if the European side continues to crack down on Chinese companies, China has the right and capability to take measures to safeguard their legitimate interests and maintain balance of China-EU economic and trade relations, Vice Minister of Commerce Ling Ji said on Sunday.

Ling made the remarks during a meeting with a group of Chinese companies engaged in shipping, new energy and telecommunications in Athens, Greece.

China and Greece have developed a comprehensive strategic partnership. Greece actively participates in the Belt and Road Initiative, while China-Greece economic and trade cooperation has maintained sound momentum. 

Chinese companies have made a positive contribution to Greece's economic and social development, and there is great potential for bilateral cooperation in areas including ports, shipping, green energy and agricultural trade given their strong complementarity, Ling said.

However, neglecting mutually beneficial cooperation between China and EU members, the EU has launched investigations into Chinese investment in Europe and public procurement bids involving Chinese companies this year. The EU distorts facts by fabricating so-called "overcapacity" in China's new energy sector and "unfair competition," Ling noted.

He said intensive measures taken by the EU have erected new barriers for Chinese new energy products' entry into the European market, harmed fair competition, disrupted the stability and safety of China-EU industrial and supply chains, and runs against the spirit of China-EU cooperation in jointly mitigating climate change. "The Chinese side strongly opposes moves taken by the EU," Ling said.

He noted that Chinese companies operating in Greece should be aware of the harm brought by EU's Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) and International Procurement Instrument.

China will not allow the EU to repeat its old trick that will lead to a negative impact on win-win China-Greece cooperation and harm the hard-won economic achievements between the two countries, Ling said.

China is willing to work with the EU to implement the important consensus reached by recent China-France-EU Trilateral Leaders' Meeting in Paris, Ling said, noting that China and the EU should appropriately deal with their trade issues through dialogue and negotiations and pay more attention to reasonable concerns of each other in a bid to create an open, fair and predictable business environment for companies from both sides.

The overall confidence of Chinese enterprises in the European business environment has diminished, with the EU adopting unilateral measures such as probes under the FSR, the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) said on Sunday.

Global Times