China warns EU against solar industry restrictions

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 26, 2012
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Shen Danyang, the spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce, answers questions at a press conference, June 26, 2012. []

A spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce told reporters at a press conference today that the European Union would hurt its own solar industry if it imposes restrictions on Chinese products.

Shen Danyang, added that China is paying close attention the EU's stance on China's solar industry, and said that EU firms would suffer in the event of any action against Chinese companies.

German solar panel maker SolarWorld AG said earlier this month that it intended to file a complaint with the European Union against its Chinese competitors who are reportedly selling products at prices far below their production costs.

Some EU firms have accused China of giving Chinese firms an unfair competitive advantage through state subsidies. Some media reports have also claimed that the European Union is preparing to launch an anti-dumping investigation into leading Chinese telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE.

Shen described the allegations regarding Chinese state subsidies as "groundless", adding that the two companies concerned have grown as a result of "complete market competition." He also said that a number of European telecoms companies have operated in China for many years, benefiting both Beijing and Brussels.

The spokesman stressed that he did not wish to see such a mutually beneficial situation compromised, and warned the EU that European firms would also suffer if restrictions were placed on Chinese solar firms.

"We do not want such a win-win situation being undermined or damaged," he said. "Faced with such a grave world economic situation, we think that China and the EU should enhance policy coordination and refrain from using trade protection measures."

He added that China has so far imported a total of 40 billion yuan (US$6.3 billion) worth of equipment to produce solar batteries, with 45 percent being purchased from Europe.

Shen warned that any sanctions against the Chinese solar cell industry would hurt EU firms as China buys a large volume of European raw materials in order to make photovoltaic products.

"If the EU restricts Chinese photovoltaic products, it will harm the overall development of solar companies within the EU," he said.

He added: "We hope the EU will be prudent [with regard to this matter]."

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