EU should treat China fairly on market economy status issues: deputy foreign minister

10:42, June 18, 2011      

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Whether the European Union grants China market economy status is more an issue of "political attitude" than of substantial significance for either side, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said in Beijing on Friday.

Fu made the remarks at a news briefing held prior to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming official visits to Hungary, Britain and Germany, which will last from June 24 to 28.

The EU has already found China to have a fairly developed market economy, but the criteria it uses to determine market economy status are still an obstacle, Fu said.

"Strictly speaking, many countries recognized by the EU as market economies, including some EU members, have not fully met these criteria," she said.

Under the terms of China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, all WTO member countries, including EU countries, are required to recognize China as having a market economy by 2016.

Whether the EU acknowledges China's market economy status is not a troublesome issue for China, and anti-dumping measures against China have become less effective over the years, Fu said.

Although the EU has yet to formally recognize China's market economy status, economic ties between China and the EU have continued to prosper in recent years, she said.

China is the EU's second-largest trading partner, while the 27-member bloc constitutes China's largest overseas market. Bilateral trade reached 480 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

"Our appeal for the EU to recognize China's market economy status is only being done to remind the bloc to treat China fairly," she added.

During the briefing, Fu also urged European governments to improve their investment environments for Chinese businessmen.

"Some European politicians tend to read Chinese enterprises' economic activities with a political bias in mind, which is detrimental to the development of China-EU relations," she said.

Source: Xinhua
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