China hits back at EV allegations

China's Premier Li Qiang. — Bloomberg

BEIJING: China’s Premier Li Qiang used his address at a World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian to hit back at accusations from the United States and European Union (EU) that Chinese firms benefit from unfair subsidies and are poised to flood their markets with cheap green technologies.

Li’s comments come as China and the EU prepare to host technical talks on the planned imposition of tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) imported into the 27-strong bloc and after the United States unveiled steep tariff hikes on an array of Chinese imports, including EV batteries, in May.

“China’s production of advanced EVs, lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic products not only met our domestic demand but also enriched global supply,” Li said in his opening remarks in the northeastern Chinese city yesterday.

“The rapid rise of China’s new industries is rooted in our own unique comparative advantages,” Li added.

Brussels’ trade policy has turned increasingly protective and aligned with that of Washington over concerns that China’s production-focused development model could see it flooded with cheap goods as Chinese firms look to step up exports amid weak domestic demand.

Beijing has warned Brussels it risks opening up a new front in the West’s trade war with Beijing, which began initially with Washington’s import tariffs in 2018 under former President Donald Trump and opened an anti-dumping probe into EU pork imports following the EU’s tariff decision. — Reuters

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