Beijing calls EU wind turbine probe ‘protectionist act’

China has accused the European Union of protectionism and “reckless distortion” of the definition of subsidies in response to a new EU investigation into Chinese language wind turbine makers.

A Chinese language commerce treatments official made “solemn representations” on the difficulty in a gathering in Brussels on Wednesday with Martin Lukas, the EU director normal for commerce protection, the Commerce Ministry mentioned.

“The European side’s reckless distortion of the definition of subsidies, and the lack of openness and transparency in procedural standards during the investigation, is a protectionist act that harms the fair competition environment in the name of fair competition,” the assertion mentioned.

The investigation opened by the European Union on Tuesday is the newest towards Chinese language corporations introduced previously two months beneath a brand new EU regulation.

The investigation will look into whether or not Chinese language subsidies are giving wind turbine corporations an unfair benefit within the competitors for initiatives in 5 member international locations: Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria.

“We’re making full use of the tools that we have,” the EU commissioner for competitors, Margrethe Vestager, mentioned in saying the transfer.

A Chinese language enterprise group in Europe described the investigations as “an act of economic coercion” that undermines the EU’s dedication to lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions.

“This action sends a detrimental signal to the world, suggesting discrimination against Chinese enterprises and endorsing protectionism,” the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU mentioned in a statement.

The EU additionally introduced investigations final week into two Chinese language photo voltaic panel makers bidding for a 455-megawatt photo voltaic park in Romania. An earlier EU probe into the procurement of 20 electrical trains in Bulgaria was dropped final month after the Chinese language bidder withdrew from the competitors.

Vestager, delivering a speech in the US on expertise and politics, referred to as the method “whack-a-mole” and mentioned the EU wants to handle the difficulty in a extra systemic approach.

“And we need it before it is too late,” she mentioned, in line with a textual content of her ready remarks. “We can’t afford to see what happened on solar panels, happening again on electric vehicles, wind or essential chips.”

China thinks the investigations are “targeting an obvious direction,” undermining the arrogance of Chinese language corporations to take a position and commerce in Europe and affecting world efforts to fight local weather change. the Commerce Ministry assertion mentioned.

The EU additionally launched an investigation final October into Chinese language subsidies for electrical autos as exports from China to Europe rise.

China’s automobile exports, together with vehicles and buses, rose 33.2% within the first three months of this 12 months to 1.3 million items, the China Affiliation of Vehicle Producers mentioned Wednesday. Exports of electrical autos had been up 7.3% to 248,000 items. Passenger vehicles accounted for 1.1 million of the whole.

The U.S. treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, raised similar concerns on a current go to to China. She referred to as for adjustments in a Chinese language industrial technique that she mentioned has “the potential to flood our markets with exports that make it difficult for American firms to compete.”

A German business consultant mentioned that cheap Chinese language items contribute to Europe’s environmental targets within the short-term however “will destroy our industry” within the medium time period.

“We have a dilemma here,” mentioned Maximillian Butek, the top of the German Chamber of Commerce in East China. “Because now at the moment it’s solar, the next could be maybe wind power, etc. So this is a balance the politicians need to find.”

The chamber needs German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on his go to to China subsequent week, to lift German firm issues about entry to the Chinese language market.

Complaints about unfair commerce practices will not be new, however they’ve taken on elevated significance with the emergence of Chinese language corporations as opponents each in China and overseas.

“Especially against the background of increased entry of Chinese providers into the European market, a level playing field must be implemented,” the German Chamber mentioned in a survey of member corporations launched this week.