China has voiced its anger over a preliminary decision by the US administration to levy heavy duties on solar panels. Washington believes that China's current price policies undermine fair competition.
China on Friday criticized US tariffs on solar panels, saying they were unfair and damaging to both producers and consumers. Beijing called the planned duties of between 31 and 250 percent on Chinese exporters and producers "protectionist".
"Such practices do not fit with the fact that Chinese enterprises are market economy participants and highlight the United States' tendency towards trade protectionism," Commerce Ministry Spokesman Shen Danyang said in a statement. "The US ruling is unfair and China is extremely dissatisfied."
Several Chinese solar cell companies branded Washington's plans as being short-sighted and warned they could lead to a full-blown trade war between the two global powers.
China's Suntech Power for instance said the decision was out of touch with reality. "Despite these harmful trade barriers, we hope that the US, China and all countries will engage in constructive dialogue to avert a deepening solar trade war," Suntech's Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Beebe, said in a statement.
With a final ruling still pending, Washington's preliminary move came in response to a complaint filed last October by the US subsidiary of Germany's Solar World company and six other firms which alleged unfair competition.
They had claimed Chinese solar panel imports had wrongly undercut their pricing and forced several big players in the renewables sector out of business. But Beijing brushed aside any such accusations, emphasizing instead that the US was sending the world a negative signal by "deliberately provoking trade friction in the clean energy sector."
hg/ai (AFP, dapd, Reuters)