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23rd Feb 2020

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China 'extremely disappointed' by EU trade policy

  • The commission last week also said China is not using the euro-crisis to twist its arm (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

China is "extremely disappointed" that the EU does not recognise it as a market economy but will keep supporting the euro anyway, its foreign ministry has said.

The statement on Tuesday (20 September) by foreign ministry spokesman Shen Danyang to press in China came in order to clarify the state of play in EU-China relations after what sounded like an ultimatum by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao last week.

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"After 30 years of reform and opening up, China has completed the transformation from a planned economy to a market economy, but the EU still does not recognise China's full market economy status. China is very disappointed," Shen said.

"Recognition of China's market economy status and supporting Europe in fighting the debt crisis are two issues of a separate character ... China has set no preconditions for offering help to others. We only hope that we can gain respect when treating others sincerely," he added.

Noting that China has an interest in the eurozone overcoming its crisis, he said: "We also hope that the Europe ensures the safety of Chinese investments there."

The Chinese premier last week said China is willing to keep on investing in wobbling eurozone economies, but added that it wants market economy recognition before 2016 because that is how "a friend treats a friend."

Winning market economy status would change the way the European Commission calculates whether or not China is "dumping" products in the EU at too low a price, opening the doors to more Chinese imports.

China is becoming increasingly cautious about investing in Europe despite Shen's warm words.

Financial newswire Reuters on Tuesday reported that the Bank of China has stopped some forms of foreign exchange trading with French banks Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas over fears that they may go down together with Greece.

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Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

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