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EU lawmakers stress China’s importance as trade partner, but oppose change in status

STRASBOURG – In a non-legislative resolution on Thursday, members of the EuropeanParliament (MEPs) stressed the importance of the European Union’s (EU) partnership withChina. Nevertheless, the EU lawmakers were opposed to recognizing China’s marketeconomy status (MES) as set out in global trade rules.

China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. Under the country’s accessionprotocol, China will automatically transit to a market economy status for Europe by Dec 11, 2016.

Meanwhile, the MEPs recognized that the Chinese market “has been the main engine ofprofitability for a number of EU industries and brands,” adding that China is the EU’s secondbiggest trading partner “with daily trade flows of over 1 billion euros.”

MEPs proposed that China’s exports to the EU must be treated in a “non-standard” way.

The resolution called on the Commission to come forward with a proposal that strikes abalance between these needs.

“The EU must to find a way to do this in compliance with its international obligations in theWTO, and in particular China’s accession protocol,” they stated.

Earlier this year, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has urged the EU to obey theWTO rules and stop its unfair treatment of China.

The EU is an important member of the WTO, a vital supporting force to the multilateral tradeand international legal systems, Hong said, adding that China hopes the EU will fulfill itscommitments to China’s entry into WTO.

So far, over 80 countries, including Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia, haverecognized China’s market economy status.

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(Source: Xinhua)

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