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China calls for prudent use of trade remedy measures

Updated: 2013-10-25 17:10
( Xinhua)

BRUSSELS -- A senior Chinese official has called on the European Union (EU) and China to refrain from the use of trade remedy measures and create a more healthy trade environment.

China International Trade Representative Zhong Shan made the remarks in a written response to media questions during the fourth China-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue held here Thursday.

The dialogue, co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and senior EU officials, was held to prepare for the upcoming 16th China-EU summit.

The two sides promised to prudently use trade remedy measures, which usually include anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguard measures, and agreed to turn to dialogue and consultation first when dealing with trade frictions, Ma said at a press conference following the meeting.

The commitment came months after the two major economies solved a solar panel trade dispute, involving more than $20 billion worth of Chinese exports.

"It (solving the solar panel case) shows that China and the EU are fully capable of properly managing their trade frictions and achieving a win-win outcome," said Zhong, who is also Chinese vice commerce minister.

The pledge also came amid signs that China-EU trade frictions are rising. "Indeed, since 2012, the EU has more frequently used trade remedy measures with more extensive coverage," Zhong told media.

The solar panel case affected about 7 percent of China's total exports to the EU, according to Zhong.

In addition to traditional trade investigations, the EU is also considering starting ex officio anti-dumping and countervailing investigations against Chinese wireless telecom equipment makers, he said.

"For possible major trade frictions, China hopes to stay in touch with the EU in the early stages. We are willing to work closely with the EU to find solutions that serve the interests of both parties," Zhong said.

He said friction was normal when two-way trade deepened and it was important to properly manage them and prevent them from affecting the overall economic relationship.

On the Chinese use of trade remedy measures, Zhong said China always opposed trade protectionism and the Chinese government had always been prudent and cautious in launching anti-dumping investigations.

"Its objective is to uphold a normal order in international trade, serve the legitimate interests of China's domestic industries and create a fair, reasonable and predictable trade environment for exports," he said.