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China to be cautious on using retaliatory trade measures
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18:49, August 17, 2009

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The Chinese government still holds a prudent attitude toward using retaliatory trade measures against the mounting trade protectionism on its exports by its major trading partners although there is increasing voice for such actions against some import products from the academic circle.

Yao Jian, the spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, disclosed on August 17 that China is preparing for appealing for WTO expert report on its publications imports from the US. He also accuses the EU of being "ridiculous" on choosing Turkey as the substitute market price for China's aluminum wheels export.

China was the target of 73 anti-dumping investigations globally in the 208 cases in 2008, accounting for 35 percent. In the first half of the year, 15 countries launched 60 trade remedy probes, including anti-dumping, countervailing, general safeguard and special safeguard, against China. The number of cases is 11 percent up over the same period of last year. And most cases are from India.

Some Chinese experts have proposed a list of imports which they think should be put under retaliatory measures. But Yao insisted that "positive consultations" with relative countries were the priority.

"We believe major economies in the world will take proper measure to constrain themselves from using trade remedy measures," Yao said, adding that China does not hope to see trade wars which would do no good for economic recovery and hurt consumers.

He warned that the abuse of trade remedy measures would deteriorate the global economic downturn and urged relative countries to honor their commitment made at the G20 Summit in April.

Yao also noted that China's trade surplus in the first seven months of 2009 plunged to 107.48 billion USD, down 13.1 year on year. "China has always been working to reduce surplus in order to achieve trade balance."

The country's surplus with the US and the EU are 76.02 billion and 55.71 billion USD respectively, down 17.1 percent and 35.9 percent. China's foreign trade surplus had kept increasing between 2006 and 2008, causing negative impacts on the country's balance of international payments. It may get improved thanks to this year's surplus decrease.

By People's Daily Online

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