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China, EU face dumping claim

By Fu Jing  (China Daily)

08:04, September 17, 2012

Beijing said Brussels has agreed to begin dialogue and cooperation to resolve the multi-billion-dollar anti-dumping investigation towards China's solar panel manufacturers.

But Brussels refused to go into details of such a stance, revealed by Chong Quan, China's deputy representative for international trade talks, after three-hour intensive talks with senior officials of European Commission on Friday afternoon.

"They (Brussels) agreed (to hold dialogues) - and I found they are very candid and pragmatic," Chong told China Daily. "I respect my negotiation partner."

But when asked how strong Brussels' intention is, Chong said: "I don't know."

Brussels was part of Chong's three-stop mission to send a clear message from Beijing, which wants to solve this dispute through "consultation, dialogues and cooperation." Before holding talking with Jean-Luc Demarty, the European Commission's director general for trade, he was negotiating in Germany and has now moved on to talks in France.

EU trade spokesperson John Clancy refused to elaborate about the three-hour discussion in Brussels. Clancy said the European Commission has begun an "open" anti-dumping investigation on China's solar panel exports, as it is required to do under the WTO framework and EU law.

He said input "from all stakeholders" is now welcome.

Clancy also confirmed that EU and Chinese trade officials discussed preparations for next week's EU-China summit in Brussels.

Chong confirmed that China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming will be in Premier Wen Jiabao's delegation that will attend the summit during a one-day visit to Belgium.

Wen and Chen are expected to urge Brussels to negotiate. Chong said both sides are eager to resolve this dispute through dialogue and both sides need to make every effort to avoid a trade war.

In the face of a severe economic slowdown and the magnitude of this dispute, Chong said: "Both of us will become losers if a trade war occurs and the situation is out of control."

Jodie Roussell, public-relations director for Trina Solar Europe, said the solar energy ecosystem is composed of companies from around the world and a typical solar project today would take capital equipment and raw materials from Germany, transform them into solar energy systems in China, and use a Dutch logistics provider to deliver them to developers in Italy.

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