Manufacturing News

China pledges solar action

China will take steps to defend its national interest if the European Union were to impose provisional antidumping duties on Chinese solar panels and investigate wireless communications networks, a high-level Chinese government official said on Monday in Brussels.

Zhong Shan, China's chief international trade representative, led a government delegation to the EU headquarters to meet EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Jean-Luc Demarty, director-general for trade.

Zhong said the EU's anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation into Chinese solar panels and the looming action on wireless telecommunications networks would hurt the Chinese industries and workers concerned, and seriously sour the climate for bilateral trade and economic engagement.

Such practices of trade protectionism are not acceptable to China, and the amplification and escalation of trade disputes would serve neither party well, he said.

The European Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy estimates that more than 200,000 jobs will be lost as a direct consequence of the European Commission's punitive plans.

Monday also was the last day of Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Europe. According to Li and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's news conference on Sunday, the two countries oppose any punitive tariffs from the EU on Chinese solar panels and mobile telecommunications equipment manufacturers.

By the end of 2013, EU member states will vote to decide on the imposition of trade penalties.

The EU's trade chief said on Tuesday that Beijing's efforts were "a waste of time".

"They are not going to impress me by putting pressure on member states," De Gucht told the European Parliament's influential trade committee.

De Gucht's press office said the possibility of a negotiated settlement in partnership with the United States would be examined.

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