China warns of possible 'trade war' with EU

June 22, 2024 12:40 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Beijing warned on Friday that escalating frictions with the European Union over electric vehicle imports could trigger a trade war, as Germany’s economy minister arrived in the Chinese capital with the proposed tariffs high on his agenda.

Robert Habeck’s three-day trip to China is the first by a senior European official since Brussels proposed hefty duties on imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles to combat excessive subsidies. That has unleashed countermeasures by China and harsh criticism from Chinese leaders.

In an unexpected twist, Habeck – from the ecologist Greens Party which is a junior partner in Germany’s fractious three-way coalition – criticised Berlin’s 11-month-old China strategy document as too short-termist and not in sync with the China strategies of other EU countries.

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This week alone, Chinese automakers urged Beijing to hike tariffs on imported European gasoline-powered cars and the government launched a dumping probe into EU pork imports in retaliation for the EU Commission’s move.

It said that with its dumping probe, the European side had “intimidated and coerced Chinese enterprises, threatened to apply punitive high tariff rates, and demanded overly broad information”.