Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

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Beijing attacks EU in trade war & warns of ‘global consequences’ – what’s really going on?

3 min read

China: Xi Jinping issues defiant message to foreign powers

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Brussels has attempted to crack down on subsidies brought in by other governments which can warp the trading market. A deal with Washington last month proposed working together to clamp down on “dirty steel” in a challenge to Beijing.

The EU is currently engaged in a long effort to bolster its economic self-reliance, as well as responding to unfair investment and trade practices that are common in China.

This includes preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises and environmental and human abuses in the labour chain.

In September, the EU created the Trade and Technology Council, a move seeking to increase cooperation with the USA in related sectors, such as green technology.

But China has hit back at the EU move, arguing it may have unwelcome side effects.

READ MORE: Global financial crash fears rise amid possible collapse of Evergrande

Zhang Ming, the Chinese ambassador to the EU, said: “These tools are discriminatory and are also a violation of the market principle of fairness and justice.”

He added: “Such moves deviate from the original goals of trade and economic policies and are also a distortion of market principles.

“The moves taken by the EU will also have global consequences, and such moves might create further stress to the global supply and industry chain.”

He called on the bloc to stick to World Trade Organisation rules, saying the bloc has created “more inward-looking and unilateral measures” and created “new trade barriers”.

China has also argued such moves won’t help stabilise global supply issues that are being felt around the world currently.

Mr Zhang continued: “They cannot help with the stability of global supply and industrial chains after the pandemic as well as the world economic recovery at large.”

He claimed: “There has been an increasing amount of tailor-made tools targeting other countries and their enterprises.

“These tools are discriminatory and are also a violation of the market principle of fairness and justice.”

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The EU and China agreed to a controversial investment deal last year but the deal was frozen by Brussels over diplomatic tensions.

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment was designed to lower barriers for EU businesses in the Chinese market.

It came with the caveat Beijing must agree to “sustained efforts” to ratify International Labour Organisation rules on forced labour.

But Beijing put the deal in cold water when it imposed sanctions on some members of the European Parliament.

The move was a swift response to EU sanctions brought about by the treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Mr Zhang said China was ready to implement the CAI deal – but accused the bloc of creating obstacles.

He said: “We stand ready to co-operate with partners from the European side to explore possible approaches to achieve the ratification of the agreement.”

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