China is disappointed that the European Union has not recognized its market economy status, Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of Commerce, said at a routine press conference on Sept. 20.
The issue of China's market economy status recently returned to the spotlight after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's keynote speech at the Summer Davos Forum on Sept. 14. Wen said in the speech that China is willing to help debt-ridden Europe by further increasing investments in the region and expressed the hope that the European Union could recognize China as a market economy.
It is not hard at all to see that Wen was talking about two completely different things. Although there is no necessary connection between aiding Europe and achieving recognition of China's market economy status, the Western media have linked the two things in a far-fetched way and openly accused China of "friendly blackmail" of debt-laden Europe.
Europe wants the money in China's wallet, but does not allow China to express its wish. It reflects Europe's selfish and arbitrary state of mind that it gradually formed relying on its dominance in the long colonial period. But the current world is not a world dominated by Europeans, though many Europeans have not realized or do not want to accept this fact. After the European debt crisis broke out, China started successively to hold more securities of the European countries suffering most from the crisis and actively promoted the economic and trade cooperation between China and Europe.
While the national debt of Italy, the third largest economy of the European Union, was showing a severe default risk and the European debt crisis was worsening, China still showed its goodwill by increasing the investment in Europe. China indeed has expressed that it wishes the European Union to recognize its full market economy status, but China did not take it as a precondition of its subsequent aid to Europe. It was totally unreasonable and ridiculous that the Europe disregarded these facts and said China was blackmailing Europe.
The marketization level of China's economy had already exceeded the critical level of the market economy 10 years ago, but the European Union has still not recognized China's full market economy status at this time. In the opinion of Europe, as long as it does not recognize China's full market economy status, it will be easy to accuse China of dumping its exports, make trouble for China and contain China's economic development. In recent years, the European Union has troubled China many times using arm sales and deliberate anti-dumping investigations so that it could make demands of China and benefit from China. That was the real blackmail.
"There is no free lunch." This old saying reflects the wisdom of old Europeans. Therefore, the European Union should not expect that it could get money from China's wallet on the one hand and contain China using the market economy status issue and arm sale issue on the other hand. If some people really want to do that, they not only have forgotten the wisdom their ancestors but also greatly underestimated the intelligence of the people of China.