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Chinese ambassador calls for dialogue to settle trade disputes

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-28 15:14

LONDON - Chinese ambassador to the European Union (EU) Wu Hailong called for talks to settle the current trade disputes between his country and the bloc, warning protectionism may end up harming the EU itself.

The EU's repeated attempts to stir up trade frictions with China are "astonishing and confusing," Wu wrote in an article published in Monday's Financial Times.

He called on the EU to take a sensible approach and honor its commitment to settling disputes through dialogue and consultation for the ultimate benefit of both sides.

Wu noted that in the past year, China-EU trade has been on a downward trajectory, declining 3.7 percent in 2012 and a further 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

"This is very worrying. The main cause is the sluggish European economy, where demand is weak and competitiveness is declining. But the EU's protectionist measures against China have also had a harmful impact on trade," he said.

He stressed that it is counterproductive for the EU to take any protectionist measures against China, as these will not help resolve the difficulties facing Europe's industries or stem the decline in competitiveness of their products.

"In fact, the EU may end up only harming itself since these measures could cause its economy to lose steam and undermine the confidence of Chinese companies in their business relations in Europe," Wu wrote.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, backed a proposal this month to impose punitive tariffs averaging 47 percent on imports of Chinese solar panels to prevent alleged dumping in the European market.

Also this month, it proposed opening an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into mobile telecom equipment imported from China.

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