China voiced regret on Friday that the European Union and the United States had turned to the World Trade Organization to try to crack open the country's car parts market.
The United States is filing a complaint against China before the World Trade Organization in a trade dispute over auto parts, according to a statement released Thursday by US Trade Representative's office. The statement said that the United States is joined in this WTO action by the European Union.
The US alleges that China is imposing high taxes on auto parts imported from the US and other countries in violation of pledges it made when China joined the WTO in late 2001.
"The Chinese side expresses regret over this and is earnestly studying the request for consultations by the EU and the United States," a statement on the Ministry of Commerce's website quoted a spokesman, Chong Quan, as saying.
On March 30, the ambassadors of the EU and US missions to the WTO informed Chinese ambassador Sun Zhenyu to the WTO, requesting consultations under the WTO mechanism for settling disputes concerning China's policies for auto industry development, Chong said.
The International Business Daily quoted an official from think-tank at the ministry as saying higher labor and production costs were eroding the 25-nation bloc's competitiveness.
Some EU governments were prone to blaming outside factors, like China's exchange rate or unfair trading practices, for their own commercial problems.
"They take anti-dumping measures to transfer their responsibilities," the paper quoted Zhao Yumin as saying.
The frictions over trade coincided with the fastest period of export growth that the country has ever seen, the paper said.
Senior officials have said that strains are inevitable in such circumstances and have repeatedly called for problems to be resolved at the negotiating table.
(China Daily, Xinhua March 31, 2006)