Disputes over Chinese solar panel products and wireless communications network

On May 27th, Mr. Zhong Shan, China International Trade Representative, led a Chinese government delegation to Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, where he held meetings with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Director General for Trade Jean-Luc Demarty respectively to make representations regarding the bilateral trade disputes over Chinese solar panel products and wireless communications network. Mr. Zhong clearly stated China’s positions and made relevant proposals.
Mr. Zhong said the Chinese government attaches great importance to China-EU trade and economic relations and believes a robust and uninterrupted bilateral trade and economic relationship is in the shared interest of both sides. The EU’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigation into Chinese solar panels and the looming action on wireless communications network would seriously hurt the Chinese industries and workers concerned and seriously sour the climate on bilateral trade and economic engagement. Such practices of trade protectionism are not acceptable to China.
Mr. Zhong pointed out China and the EU were important trade partners to each other and bilateral trade and economic cooperation had maintained a generally positive momentum over the years. Given the size of the bilateral trade, it is only natural to see some trade frictions. The right focus should be on resolving those frictions appropriately. China is for dialogue and consultation as a way to defuse trade frictions. Taking abrupt and unilateral actions does not help problem-solving, but will rather set the parties further apart and aggravate the tensions. The amplification and escalation of trade disputes would serve neither party well and would most certainly exert a serious negative impact on bilateral relations.
Mr. Zhong stressed that there is a huge Chinese economic interest at stake in these two trade rows. If the EU were to impose provisional antidumping duties on Chinese solar panels and to initiate an ex officio case on Chinese wireless communications network, the Chinese government would not sit on the sideline, but would rather take necessary steps to defend its national interest. Despite the heightened risk of the China-EU bilateral trade disputes widening and escalating, the Chinese government would nevertheless make a best effort for hope of reaching a consensus and avoiding a trade war, but this would require restraint and cooperation on the EU’s part.
During the meetings, the two sides fully discussed and exchanged views on China-EU bilateral trade and economic relations, the AD/CVD case on solar panels and the dispute over wireless communications network. The meetings were constructive and the exchanges were useful. Such communication and dialogue are conducive not only to the resolution of the bilateral trade disputes but will also to the development of bilateral trade and economic relations.
Source: Ministry of Commerce Website; http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201305/20130500142845.shtml

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