EU urged to grant China's market economy status

  Xinhua, November 30, 2011

The European Union (EU) and China should reach agreement on granting China the market economy status (MES) without delay, Joaquin Almunia, EU Competition Commissioner, said Tuesday.

 EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia [File photo]

 EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia [File photo]

"We have no time to lose. I very much look forward to reaching agreement on granting China the MES without waiting until the last hours," Almunia said at a forum on China-EU relations titled "Europe and China: Rivals or Strategic Partners?"

A senior researcher from a Chinese government think tank urged the EU to grant China the MES as soon as possible at the same forum.

"China has undergone enormous market economic reforms, and it is an market economy," said Wang Yiming, vice president of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Wang said he saw no point in the EU refusing to grant China the MES while recognizing other countries, such as Russia, Ukraine.

"Is it because the Chinese economy is less market-oriented than the two countries, or it is just political decisions?" Wang said.

Former former EU trade commissioner Lord Leon Brittan echoed Wang's view, saying that "Things have moved on. China has moved substantially in the direction of being a market economy."

"To think the management and regulation of China's economy is the same as the United States and the European Union is unrealistic," Brittan said at the forum.

According to the terms of China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), China will automatically get full market economy status by 2016.