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China Looks for EU Trade Compensation

EU and Chinese officials are in talks over compensation for Beijing for what they say will be the negative effects of EU enlargement.

According to Renmin Ribao (The People’s Daily), which quotes an unnamed Chinese official, the two sides are in negotiations to agree compensation for losses Beijing says it will incur when the EU expands to 25 members this May. "The nation will lose out, as joining the EU requires the new members to scrap their own bilateral trade agreements with non-EU states," the officially-run paper wrote on Monday. Unlike Russia, as a member of the World Trade Organization, China is entitled to compensation under international trade rules. The EU has been at loggerheads with Russia, refusing to expand a bilateral trade and cooperation agreement to cover the new member states unless its demands are met. China wants to see lower tariffs or perhaps increased quotas, the paper says. The U.S., Japan and Australia are also expected to apply for compensation. EU-China trade was worth €115 billion ($142.3 billion) in 2002, with a Chinese surplus of €47 billion. (EUObserver.com)

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