China links EU trade probe with eurozone debt helpAdmin
Agence France-Presse . Beijing
China said Thursday a European investigation into imports of Chinese-made specialised steel products would ‘undermine’ efforts to combat the eurozone crisis.
The European Commission has launched an anti-subsidy and anti-dumping investigation into coated sheet steel products, widely used in the building industry, after complaints Chinese imports were hurting European manufacturers.
At the same time, European leaders have sought contributions from Beijing to the eurozone’s bailout fund.
China’s commerce ministry expressed its ‘strong dissatisfaction’ at the steel investigation and said it would send the ‘wrong signal to the world of trade protectionism’, according to a statement on its web site.
The probe ‘not only casts a shadow over China-EU steel trade, but it would also undermine the joint efforts of China and Europe to deal with the crisis,’ the statement said.
China and Europe have locked horns over a range of trade issues in recent years, including metal fasteners, potato starch and modems, but this appears to be the first time they have linked a trade spat to its debt crisis assistance.
European leaders last year approached China, which holds the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, to invest in a bail-out fund to rescue debt-stricken states.
Chinese leaders said last week they were considering using Europe’s bail-out funds to help address the continent’s fiscal woes, but stopped short of saying how the Asian power might be prepared to contribute.