Europe and China won't get into trade war, says EU chief
THE EU will not back down from protecting its industries against Chinese competition it sees as unfair, but mutual self-interest will prevent a damaging trade war, the EU's trade chief Karel De Gucht has said.
Disputes with Beijing have taken on a bigger scale in recent months and Brussels brought its biggest ever trade case against Beijing last month after European companies accused China of dumping solar panels in Europe.
The EU is also gathering evidence to see whether Chinese telecoms companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE are receiving illegal subsidies or dumping.
"We are not going to shy away from what we have to do," Mr De Gucht said.
"But we are not interested in escalating tensions. I believe that the Chinese also realise that this has to be kept within limits," he added.
Trade between China and the EU has doubled since 2003, rising to €428bn in 2011, making the EU China's biggest trading partner. China is the second biggest destination for European goods after the US.
EU diplomats say Mr De Gucht could be using the solar panel dispute in Europe as leverage over Beijing to push the Communist government to cut what they see as illegal subsidies to Huawei and ZTE and avoid another formal trade case with Brussels. (Reuters)