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EU's planned solar duties against China "grave mistake": German vice chancellor


17:48, May 20, 2013

BERLIN, May 20 (Xinhua) -- German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said at the weekend that European Commission's agreement to back a proposal to levy punitive duties on Chinese solar panels is a "grave mistake."

Roesler told Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview on Sunday that punitive duties are the wrong instrument to deal with the dispute, adding that he expects the European Commission to prevent an all-out trade conflict and solve the dispute through a negotiation and dialogue.

"German industry is quite rightly very concerned," he said. "The Commission has to seek a resolution with negotiations and dialogue instead of threats."

The BDI association, the German manufacturers' association, also warned during the weekend that punitive tariffs against China's solar industry would damage both sides and called for seeking possibilities of negotiation.

The European Commission has agreed to back a proposal to levy provisional duties ranging from 37 to 68 percent on Chinese solar panels.

The planned solar duties would "severely impair" bilateral trade ties, Shen Danyang, spokesman of China's Ministry of Commerce warned last week.

In the context of a fragile global economy, countries should join hands to guard against protectionism and remove barriers in order to achieve common development, Shen said, adding that those who go against the consensus will disrupt the economic recovery process and undermine market confidence.

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