China eager to defuse trade pressures | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 28.06.2018
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China eager to defuse trade pressures

The Chinese government has once again defended its trade surplus with other major economies. It insisted that the nation's rapid growth had brought lucrative opportunities to partners all over the world.

China's leadership on Thursday launched yet another attempt to ease US and European pressure over market access and technology policy.

A government report repeated promises to cut tariffs and open more industries to foreign investment.

"China's growth has brought great opportunities to trading partners all over the world," Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a news conference.

The fresh report highlighted the clash between Beijing's insistence it had honored market-opening pledges made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 and arguments by the US and the European Union that China improperly hampered access to emerging industries and pressured foreign companies to hand over technology.

US President Donald Trump's threat of tariff hikes on up to $450 billion (€389 billion) of Chinese products reflected fears in the White House that Beijing's industrial policy was a threat to American technological leadership and prosperity.

On which side of the fence is Europe?

China has tried to recruit Europe as an ally in the dispute, but faces complaints by Germany and others that it bars purchases of Chinese assets while its own companies are on a global shopping spree.

Asked about possible US plans to restrict Chinese investment in tech industries, the commerce minister said he hoped that the countries concerned "would do the right thing and adopt policies that support free trade and investment."

The United States and other trading partners argue China's emergence as a competitor in smartphone technology, solar panels and other goods means it no longer qualifies for the special protections it was granted as a developing nation when it joined the WTO.

Earlier this week, Beijing and Brussels announced they would form a group to work on modernizing WTO rules to keep pace with recent developments in the global economy.

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hg/mm (AP, dpa)

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