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China Daily Website

China warns EU about planned solar duties

Updated: 2013-05-16 13:26
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The EU's proposed levying of punitive duties on Chinese solar panels would "severely impair" bilateral trade ties, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang warned on Thursday.

His remarks at a press conference came after the European Commission agreed to back a proposal to levy provisional duties ranging from 37 to 68 percent on Chinese solar panels.

"China's position of using dialogue and negotiations to resolve the frictions hasn't changed," Shen said, urging the EU to consider the larger picture of bilateral ties and make efforts to handle the issue properly.

In the context of a fragile global economy, countries should join hands to guard against protectionism and remove barriers in order to achieve common development, Shen said, adding that those who go against the consensus will disrupt the economic recovery process and undermine market confidence.

The spokesman said China and the EU are important trade partners for each other, and it is in the interests of both sides to maintain mutually beneficial cooperation in economics and trade.

Imposing provisional duties on imports of Chinese solar panels would harm the interests of both sides, and a trade war will only create a lose-lose situation for China and the EU, he added.

Shen said China will firmly safeguard its interests according to WTO rules and Chinese laws unless both sides can sit down and figure out a feasible way to avoid a trade war.

The EU backed a proposal last week to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in order to prevent what it called the "dumping" of Chinese panel products in the European market.

The punitive measures still have to be reviewed by EU member states and be published in the EU's official journal before going into effect.

The Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy, a coalition of more than 450 European photovoltaic companies, called the proposed punitive tariffs "extremely disturbing," saying they would cause "irreversible damage" to Europe's entire photovoltaic value chain.

Fan Zhenhua, legal affairs supervisor with Yingli Solar, the world's largest fully vertically integrated photovoltaic manufacturer, urged the EU to prudently review the proposal that is also detrimental to EU member states.

Liang Tian, public relations supervisor with the Baoding-based company in north China's Hebei Province, said by approving the proposal, the EU would be like lifting a rock to drop on its own feet.

"The duty will harm employment and hinder the development of the photovoltaic industry in EU member states," said Liang.

Fan expects Chinese enterprises to be less dependent on the EU market in the future with the expansion of their market share in emerging economies and China.

Yingli has responded actively by facilitating technical innovations and cost control so as to sustain its price competitiveness in the global market, he added.