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China to take measures against EU protectionism: official

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-28 11:24

BRUSSELS - The European Union's (EU) practices of trade protectionism are not acceptable and China will take necessary measures to defend its national interests, said a Chinese official here on Monday.

Zhong Shan, China's International Trade Representative, made the remarks during talks with EU trade officials on trade disputes over Chinese solar panel products and wireless telecom network.

Zhong, who is also China's vice minister of commerce, said that there is a huge Chinese economic interest at stake in these trade rows.

"If the EU were to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels and initiate an ex officio case on Chinese wireless telecom network, the Chinese government would not sit on the sideline but take necessary steps to defend its national interest," he said.

The EU's investigation into Chinese solar panels and the looming action on wireless telecom network will seriously hurt the Chinese industries and workers concerned and sour the climate on bilateral trade and economic engagement, he said.

"Such practices of trade protectionism are not acceptable to China," Zhong added.

Given the size of the bilateral trade, he said, it is natural to see some trade frictions, but these frictions need to be appropriately resolved.

"Taking abrupt and unilateral actions does not help resolve problems, but instead set the parties further apart and aggravate the tensions," Zhong warned.

"The amplification and escalation of trade disputes will benefit neither of the two sides but exert a serious negative impact on bilateral relations," he said.

The Chinese government will try its best to reach consensus with the EU and avoid a trade war, he said. But this will require "EU's restraint and cooperation."

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, backed a proposal this month to impose punitive tariffs averaging 47 percent on imports of Chinese solar panels to prevent alleged "dumping" in the European market. Also this month, it proposed opening anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into mobile telecom equipment imported from China.

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