'Distortion' claims unfair: officials
Chinese officials on Thursday criticized an EU report that complained about "market distortion" in China, saying the report was "hypocritical" and that it showed "double standards." They also urged the bloc to comply with international rules.
"The relevant report makes irresponsible remarks about China's economy and takes unfair measures toward China by creating various pretexts, and the report does not mention the EU's own actions in violation of WTO rules," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday. "It is hypocritical to have double standards," she said.
"Using a zero-sum game mentality to deal with reciprocal cooperation will injure others and harm [the EU] itself," she said.
China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) also rejected the EU's complaints, and said it hoped the EU would look at the big picture of bilateral cooperation.
"I want to emphasize that any country has the right to choose its own economic development path and should be respected in the international community," Gao Feng, a spokesperson for MOFCOM, told a regular briefing on Thursday.
The facts have fully proven that the market economic system with Chinese characteristics conforms with China's reality and is adaptable to the country's economic development in the new era, Gao said.
"Leaders of the EU have expressed the hope many times that the economic and trade relations between China and the EU can develop in a healthy and steady way… And we can see that the bilateral relations are gaining good growth momentum at the moment," he noted.
The China-EU bilateral trade volume reached $556.69 billion during the first 11 months of this year, up 12.7 percent year-on-year. As of the end of November, there have been 44,638 projects that the EU has directly invested in in China, worth a total of $119.76 billion, data from MOFCOM showed.
"We hope the EU can act according to its word, to guide its enterprises in the right direction and genuinely maintain the bilateral development momentum," Gao said, noting China will take any necessary measures to protect its legitimate interests.
The European Commission (EC), the EU's executive, singled out China for special attention in its report released on Wednesday.
It also introduced new anti-dumping rules by removing a "non-market economy" list and instead bringing in a new concept called "significant market distortion."
The new rules would allow the EU to continue to use prices in third countries to judge anti-dumping cases, the MOFCOM said in a statement posted on its website on Wednesday.
"The Chinese side believes that such a measure from the EU is against WTO rules," read the statement, pointing out that "there is no such concept of 'significant market distortion' under WTO rules."
Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies with the China Institute of International Studies, said the "distortion" mainly involves the process of pricing, which relates to non-market factors such as subsidies, according to the EU's interpretation.
However, some product categories related to subsidies are in compliance with WTO rules and the trading commodities between China and the EU basically fall into this category, Cui told the Global Times Thursday.