French President Francoise Hollande has requested a special EU meeting to forge a common stance on the EU's trade row with China. The call has come after China launched an anti-dumping probe into French wine.
President Francoise Hollande has told a cabinet meeting that European Union member states should meet to discuss a common policy in the face of mounting trade tensions with China, French government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem announced Wednesday.
"The President of the Republic expressed his desire that the European commission take steps to organize a meeting to establish a united position based on solidarity," she said following the cabinet meeting.
Hollande made the call after China announced an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into EU wine on Wednesday. France is Europe's biggest supplier of wine to China.
Beijing's move is seen as coming in retaliation for punitive tariffs imposed on Tuesday by the European Union's executive Commission on Chinese solar exports to the 27-nation bloc. Accusing China of undercutting market prices with state subsidies, Brussels has slapped 11.8 percent higher duties on Chinese solar panels, which will rise to an average of 47.6 percent in August.
While France supported the punitive action, the move was opposed by Germany and a number of other EU member states which fear for their booming trade with the Asian economic powerhouse.
On Wednesday, German economic minister Philipp Rösler called for dialog rather than confrontation with China, reiterating that Berlin regarded the decision on solar panels as a serious mistake.
uhe/dr (dpa, AFP)