China can do ‘a lot’ to reduce EU risk perception – EU trade chief

Valdes Dombrosque, Executive Vice President of the European Commission in Shanghai

European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdes Dombrovskis addresses the Bund Summit on September 23, 2023 in Shanghai, China. REUTERS/Jason Xue Acquire Licensing Rights

BEIJING, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The European Union has no intention of cutting ties with China even as the bloc takes steps to reduce economic dependence and reduce risk, but China has helped reduce risk perceptions. “Could do a lot more,” the EU’s trade chief said on Monday.

The European Union has long complained about the lack of a level playing field in China and the politicization of the business environment. Concerns have grown after Beijing’s move to strengthen ties with Moscow despite the war in Ukraine.

Europe’s economic ties with China are deep, but China “could do a lot to help reduce our perception of risk,” Trade Commissioner Valdes Dombrovskis said in a speech at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

China also unveiled new laws this year, including a foreign relations law warning against “actions” harmful to China’s national interests and an anti-espionage law that bans the transfer of information related to national security. is undefined, increasing compliance risks for foreign companies.

“Their ambiguity leaves a lot of room for interpretation,” Dombrovskis said.

“This means that European companies are struggling to understand their compliance obligations: a factor that significantly reduces business confidence and deters new investment in China.”

Dombrovskis is expected to raise his concerns with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng at a high-level economic and trade dialogue in Beijing on Monday.

He is also expected to reiterate the EU’s displeasure over trade imbalances. The EU’s trade deficit with China widened to $276.6 billion in 2022 from $208.4 billion a year earlier.

At the same time, Dombrovskis will be under pressure from China to explain the EU’s threat strategy.

“Our strategy is not protectionist, and it’s country-wise,” Dombrovskis said.

As Europe moves away from Russian oil, gas and coal, the EU is examining its dependence on China for some raw materials and components, as well as factors that could make some Chinese products more competitive in the European market. Moving forward.

The European Commission recently announced it will investigate whether to impose tariffs to protect European producers from a “flood” of cheap Chinese electric vehicle imports that it says benefit from state subsidies.

The EU has said it is open to competition, including in the electric vehicle sector, but that competition must be fair. China has described the investigation as protectionist.

“The European side has repeatedly assured the Chinese side that ‘de-risking’ does not mean ‘de-coupling’,” the nationalist Chinese tabloid Global Times wrote in an editorial.

“We believe they are sincere in saying this. However, we cannot accept and strongly oppose the use of trade protectionism to ‘de-risk’,” he said.

Reporting by Ryan Wu, Bernard Orr and Yu Lun Tian; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Jacqueline Wong

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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