China criticizes EU for investigation into electric vehicle subsidies – POLITICO

China on Thursday accused the European Union of “purely protectionist behavior” after Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launched an investigation into state subsidies for Chinese electric vehicles.

“China expresses its great concern and deep dissatisfaction” with this investigation which “will have a negative impact on China-EU economic and trade relations,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

“China will pay particular attention to the protectionist trend and follow-up actions of the European side, and firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” the statement said.

China’s reaction comes a day after von der Leyen announced in her annual State of the Union address that she would open an investigation into Chinese automakers, accusing Beijing of “distorting” the European market.

The investigation, which follows months of pressure from France to crack down on insurgent Chinese automakers, could pave the way for the EU to impose additional taxes on Chinese vehicles.

But this also exposes European car manufacturers – particularly German brands with a strong presence in China – to retaliation from Beijing.

The investigation will top the agenda of the EU-China high-level economic and trade dialogue to be held on September 25, ahead of a bilateral summit later this year. The Ministry of Commerce made no reference in its press release to the negotiations in Beijing, in which the European Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, is due to participate.


Back to top button