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EU not ready to grant China market status
Updated: 2005-07-14 06:58

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission said Wednesday it was not ready to grant market economy status to China — a move that would help Beijing avoid punitive antidumping measures.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso addresses a joint news conference ahead of an extraordinary European Union justice and interior ministers in Brussels July 13, 2005 following last week's London attacks. [Reuters]
Francoise Le Bail, chief spokeswoman for the European Union's head office, said it was unclear when China would meet EU criteria for being a market economy.

"The Commission is checking to see if China fits this criteria," she said. "It's a very technical process ... It's difficult to give a deadline."

On Thursday, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was to visit China for talks focusing on trade and political cooperation.

In a statement, Barroso noted that the EU last year replaced the United States as China's largest trading partner, with annual trade totaling 174 billion euros ($212 billion). China is the EU's second-largest trade partner, after the U.S.

"Our challenge now is to understand China's dramatic re-emergence, to learn to work better with this tremendous country and seize the opportunities provided by its unprecedented growth," Barroso said.
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