China-Europe trade dispute

CNC reporting from Beijing
Added On May 28, 2013

Chinese representatives say China will defend its national interests against quote, EU trade protectionism.

During Monday's talks, Zhong Shan, China's vice minister of commerce, said the EU's approach is unacceptable, and will put a huge of Chinese economic interest at stake.

He said Beijing will take necessary steps to protect China's interests, should EU's punitive duties on Chinese imports take effect.

Zhong said it's natural to see trade frictions, given the huge trade volume between China and Europe.

But that the rows need to be resolved properly.

Earlier this month, the European Commission said it would open anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into China's mobile telecom equipment sold in Europe.

Later, the commission backed another proposal to put provisional duties ranging from 37 to 68 percent, on Chinese solar panels...
To prevent what it calls the "dumping" of Chinese panel products, in the European market.

But at least 14 of the EU's 27 members are reported to have voted against the proposal on Friday.

According to EU sources quoted by Xinhua News, only four members, including France, Spain, Italy and Lithuania, are believed to stand on the side of the European Commission, while four others have abstained.

The positions of two other countries remain unknown.

But China reached a concensus with Europe's buiggest economy, Germany, in fighting against trade protectionism, during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's current visit in the country.

And industry insiders believe Germany's influence, will help China significantly.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DOROTE FOUQUET,  Lawyer with Rechtsanwaltskammer Hambourg:
"Germany, in my view the most important voice. Because Germany has the most saying , has a very big manufacturing in base in that industry but it’s also a country which lives from trade as special as China, there, I think the bargaining power would a lot also depend on negotiation between China and Germany, even though, it is the commission who is responsible to at least for the provisional measures in June to put them in effect or not, but the commission in my experience, if big member states make it clear that they want to continue negotiation is always respecting those decisions. "

The EU sources also said most EU countries believe that the potential positive impact of the duties, would be dwarfed by the negative impact on employment across the continent...

As many European solar panel makers may struggle, without cheap imports of Chinese solar inputs.