Home>News Center>China

UK economist: No to China MES a "tragedy"
Updated: 2004-07-06 10:41

A British economist has said in London if the European Union decides not to grant China the Market Economy Status (MES), it would be a "tragedy" to the world economy in view of China's remarkable role in the world's economic, financial and trade matters.

Jan Randolph, chief economist of the London-based World Market Research Center, made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua News Agency last Friday.

Responding to questions raised by Xinhua on the phone, Randolph said "to grant China 'market economy status' would put China in the same group as all the western industrialized countries, including the US, EU and Japan."

"It would be more difficult for the EU, US and Japan to complain about 'unfair competition', or impose anti-dumping measures (that is, place quota restrictions or extra taxes on Chinese exports)," he said.

But a refusal to grant China an MES "would mean that the EU, USand Japan cannot talk to China about important global policy issues at the highest tables like 'G7' - even though China deserves a seat at this highest table because of its huge and growing importance to global growth, trade and stability," the chief economist stressed.

He said "the Chinese may feel that they are being unfairly 'excluded' and may take retaliatory measures".

A 15-page confidential report by the European Commission reportedly said that the EU "is committed to granting Market Economy Status to China" but finds China so far only fulfilled one of the five criteria set by Brussels.

When asked what impact a negative EU decision would have on the bilateral trade relations between the EU and China, Randolph said the trade relations "will continue to develop and expand," but they are "more likely to develop even faster if China were included in the 'market economy group'."

Any "cooling" economic policies adopted by China will affect lots of other countries, including market economies and their growth, the economist said.

Refusing to "grant China the qualification to group China in dealing with global economic issues at an equal footing with the G7 (now G8) at the highest table" would harm a healthy global economic growth, he added.

"Also, China represents one of the fastest growing markets for EU goods and investment. If it is to continue to develop, then good bilateral relations are needed. There have been many visits between Chinese and European leaders over the last few years - quite rightly - as this reflects the growing business contacts, trade and investment opportunities that benefits both ways and both areas."

When asked whether any external elements other than economic ones would affect the EU decision, Randolph said he thought "the EU is big and independent enough to make its own decision here, just like on Kyoto treaty, Iraq and The International Criminal Court". He further pointed out that "the EU may gain some advantage (over the US) in declaring China an 'MES' first".

As for whether a negative EU decision would mean that a number of high quality and cheap Chinese goods would be blocked from entering the EU countries, Randolph said even under that scenario,he did not think the EU countries would adopt more anti-dumping measures against Chinese products.

"Many people in Europe and US benefit from more and better quality goods from China. This is especially true of poorer peoplein Europe who could not otherwise afford more expensive non-Chinese goods," he said.

As "China has made some serious positive progress on Bankruptcylaws recently and the reform of the banking sector is underway, I think it is just a matter of time for China to gain a 'market economy status'", Randolph said. "Its not a question of 'if' but 'when'," he added.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Former prisoner fights for state compensation



Airline to compensate for delays



19,374 civil servants fired to clean up gov't



PetroChina eyes South China Sea exploration



UK economist: No to China MES a "tragedy"



Complaints on home demolitions soar


  Amendment urged to protect civil rights
  Airline to compensate for delays
  Hu welcomes Mongolian leader
  Bigger role in store for private schools
  University climber's death sounds safety alarm
  Cairns Decision amended in Suzhou
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
China advancing to full market economy
EU ruling on China's market status 'unfair'
EU refuses to grant China market economy
Wu vows opener economic system
Minister urges assent to market status
  News Talk  
  When will china have direct elections?