China reiterates opposition to protectionism

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao on Monday reiterated the country’s opposition to protectionism following the European Commission’s (EC) decision to launch an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar exports.

Speaking at a news briefing prior to Premier Wen Jiabao’s attendance of the 15th China-EU Summit in Brussels, Song said a trade war would go against both sides’ interests against the backdrop of the current world economic situation.

“The international financial crisis and euro debt crisis have affected both the Chinese and the European economy, and China and the European Union (EU) should make joint efforts to counter the challenges,” he added.

In July, Germany’s SolarWorld and several European enterprises filed an anti-dumping complaint regarding Chinese solar products with the European Commission. The commission said the products subject to the investigation are crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules, or panels, cells and wafers of the type used in these modules or panels.

However, Song said China and Europe should resolve their conflict of interests through dialogue and consultations with a view to win-win reciprocity.

As major global economies, China and the EU complement each other and the two sides can tap potential for economic cooperation in technological innovation, green development, infrastructure and finance, according to the vice foreign minister.

“Only if China and the EU stick to the principle of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity will there be a bright prospect of cooperation for both sides,” said the official.

During the briefing, Song also hailed the latest measures taken by the EU and its member states to fight the ongoing financial crisis.

On Sept. 6, the European Central Bank unveiled a new bond-buying program that will allow open-ended purchases of short-term government bonds to keep borrowing costs down for struggling European countries.

On Sept. 12, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rejected calls to block the European Stability Mechanism, paving the way for the permanent bailout fund and other crisis-battling instruments to begin operating.

“We hope that these measures will go ahead smoothly and result in good effects,” Song said, adding that the cooperation between China and the EU will help the European side out of the crisis.


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