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China continues polysilicon, wine trade probes

By Li Jiabao | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-08 06:38

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, recently approved a negotiated settlement with China that sets a minimum price and a volume limit on EU imports of Chinese solar panels through 2015.

The polysilicon and wine probes were widely seen as counter measures by the Commerce Ministry in response to the EU's solar panel investigation, which could endanger Chinese exports valued at about $20 billion a year and more than 400,000 jobs at home.

The settlement of the solar panel case greatly eased the abuse of trade protectionism measures and helped improve the China-EU trade environment, Sang said.

However, other observers have a more pessimistic view.

"I'm not optimistic about the future and trade frictions from the EU will keep emerging in view of the huge trade volume between the two economies and the continuous debt trouble in the 28-country bloc," said Chen Xin, director of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The EU is China's largest trade partner, while for the bloc, China is second only to the US. China-EU trade reached $546 billion in 2012, according to China's General Administration of Customs.

"China is not afraid of trade frictions coming from the EU and we have our counter-measures," said Cui Hongjian, director of European studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

China's polysilicon probe highlighted the industrial integration between the two sides, though the export value was not as big as that in the EU's investigation of Chinese solar panels, he added.

From 2009 to 2012, China's wine imports from the EU rose 59.83 percent annually to 257,000 kilolitres, which were worth $1.04 billion, according to the ministry.

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