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China urges EU against protectionism
May 10, 2013, 10:45 am


The European Commission have decided to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China [Xinhua]

China has urged the European Union (EU) against protectionist measures.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that China hopes the EU will use protectionist measures cautiously when dealing with trade frictions.

The European Commission decided on Wednesday to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in order to prevent the dumping of Chinese panel products in the European market.

AFP quoted an EU source as saying that the tariff could be as high as 47 per cent.

However, the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy, which represents European firms, has warned against the EU move.

“If prices are artificially increased by punitive tariffs, the European solar market would simply come to a standstill with disastrous effects on green jobs,” said a statement issued by the group.

China is the EU’s second largest trading partner.

China’s ambassador to the World Trade Organisation, Yi Xiaozhun, called the decision a mistake.

“It will send the wrong message to the world that protectionism is coming,” Yi was quoted by Reuters on Wednesday.

The measures still have to be reviewed by EU member states and be published in the EU’s official journal before going into effect.

“We hope that both sides can maintain an attitude of constructive cooperation, and use dialogue and consultations to properly handle differences,”  the chinese ministry spokesperson said, adding that “win-win cooperation” benefited both sides.

With inputs from Agencies