China tells Germany, EU to play fair in trade and co-op

China expects Germany and the European Union to stop resorting to an unfair practice of making anti-dumping investigation decisions against Chinese enterprises before Dec 11, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

“I hope Germany and the EU can objectively view the connection between competition and cooperation and properly handle China-Europe trade frictions,” he said.

During a meeting in Beijing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Xi called for the timely implementation of Article 15 of the Accession Protocol of China’s entry to the World Trade Organization, as agreed when China joined the WTO in 2001.

This stipulates that all WTO members should stop following subrogate country measures in anti-dumping cases against China before Dec 11, 2016.

According to Chinese media reports, the WTO doesn’t clearly define so-called subrogate countries, leaving loopholes allowing the EU to exploit its anti-dumping policies against Chinese exports.

Merkel said Germany attaches importance to the implementation of Article 15.

Chen Fengying, a world economy research fellow at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the discriminatory practice adopte by some countries of using prices in other nations to gauge the cost of Chinese products has caused unnecessary losses for Chinese enterprises in anti-dumping cases.

Xi also said Beijing’s ties with Berlin have entered a “very mature” phase, adding that the two countries should look after the core interests and concerns of each other to continue the healthy development of the relationship.

China and Germany signed more than 20 cooperation agreements on Monday in a dozen fields after the fourth China-Germany intergovernmental consultations, co-chaired by Premier Li Keqiang and Merkel.

During the consultations, Li and Merkel listened to reports by heads of 26 departments from both countries, including finance, commerce, education, transportation and healthcare, who later signed the agreements. More than 100 cooperation agreements have been signed during four consultations since 2011.

Li said the two nations should strengthen high-level exchanges and strategic trust, and oppose trade protectionism amid a sluggish global economy. He called on Germany to accelerate negotiations and sign the China-EU bilateral investment treaty.

The premier said, “Both countries should reinforce policy coordination under global frameworks such as the G20 Summit, link their national strategies and boost industrial cooperation in smart manufacturing and sustainable development.”

He also said China is willing to advance academic and research exchanges with German universities, research institutes and enterprises.

Merkel said Germany is willing to work with China on smart manufacturing and new energy vehicles, and to tap into business opportunities in other markets.

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