Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

EU can benefit by accepting China as market economy

By Fu Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-05 08:11

Some European experts have expressed their opinion that giving market economy status to China needs coordination among the developed economies.

But Brussels needs to assert its "independence" in decision-making from the US. More importantly, Brussels should keep the bigger picture in mind when making its decision, which is that the EU and China have been expanding their cooperation with unprecedented momentum over the last few years and China is going to receive market economy status anyway so why not give it a little early so the EU is able to get some benefits from China in return.

The Chinese government's interpretation of its World Trade Organization accession protocol is that China will be "automatically" granted market economy status 15 years after it entered into the global free trade system in December 2001.

Over the last two years, a lot of European countries have ignored Washington's will and joined the China-led Asian Infrastructural Investment Bank and supported China's currency being included in the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket of global currencies.

All these decisions are forward-thinking and benefit the world.

In return, China has become the first country outside the European Union to support the European Investment Scheme.

It would not only be the correct decision, but also a historic one, for Brussels to grant China market economy status.

And the sooner the better, because in Chinese philosophy: if you give me an inch, I may return a foot.

The author is China Daily chief correspondent in Brussels.

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