China berates EU at World Trade Organization for policies it calls unfair

  • China lashed out 5 Jun at European Union trade measures aimed at Beijing, claiming they would have “serious ramifications” for the world trading system.
  • At a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Geneva, China’s ambassador Li Chenggang condemned a raft of EU policies intended to address Europe’s long-standing trade grievances with China.
  • He railed against a foreign subsidies act, investment screening, and a critical minerals law, described as “unjustified and discriminatory”. The European Chips Act was also panned as a front for “expanding export control measures” and hiking subsidies, according to a Geneva trade source.
  • No measure mentions China directly, but they have been built to address Beijing policies that WTO rules are ill-equipped to handle, EU officials privately admit.
  • As part of this muscular new trade stance, EU officials are preparing to propose a new economic security strategy later this month. It will recommend restricting some European investments in sensitive hi-tech sectors, such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors and quantum computing.
  • Again, the strategy is not expected to name China as the target, but it was first announced during a keynote address on China by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Mat 23, a speech that laid out plans to “de-risk” the bilateral trading relationship.

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