The world economy, instead of China, is to blame for the European steel industry's trouble, a Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday, urging the European Union to honor unconditionally the World Trade Organization agreement.
The cause for the sluggishness of the European steel industry is the slowing growth of the global economy and the shrinking demand, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a news conference.
"Obviously it doesn't make sense to blame China for Europe's steel industry's troubles," said Hua.
Hua made the remarks as reports said that 12 steel industries called on the Group of Seven members, who started convening in Japan on Thursday, to protect them from the country's overcapacity of steel production.
"The international community should work together to inject a new driver to the global economic growth, thus solving the problem by the root," she said.
Less than eight percent of China's steel export goes to Europe, while only 14 percent of the EU's steel import comes from China, Hua said.
On May 12, the European Parliament passed a non-legislative resolution rejecting granting the market economy status to China, the second largest economy in the world.
Hua, the spokeswoman pointed out there is no such concept as the market economy status in the WTO rules, adding that the EU must honor China's WTO accession protocol by stopping usage of the surrogate country anti-dumping approach against China on Dec 11.
"As an important member of the WTO, the EU should... unconditionally honor the protocol. It shouldn't bargain about it, even less... break its promise or find fault for no reason," she said.