China says EU subsidy probes interfere with China, Europe cooperation

By Thomson Reuters Apr 10, 2024 | 7:29 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) – Subsidy investigations started by the European Union interfere with the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Europe, and China resolutely opposes them, a Chinese commerce ministry official said.

The official, who was not identified in a statement released by the department on Thursday, believes the probes launched by the European Union so far are all aimed at Chinese new energy-related enterprises, which will seriously damage the confidence of its firms in carrying out investment and trade cooperation in the EU.

The remarks came from the head of the Trade Remedies Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a meeting with Martin Lukas, director general of the trade defence department of the European Commission, in Brussels, according to the statement.

In the latest move involving China, the European Union said it would investigate subsidies received by Chinese suppliers of wind turbines destined for its countries.

The Chinese commerce official said it would be the fourth investigation initiated by the European Union in the past two months using foreign subsidies legislation against Chinese companies.

The official also said in the course of the investigations, the EU “wantonly distorted the definition of subsidies, and the procedural standards were not open and transparent, which is a protectionist act that harms the level playing field in the name of fair competition.”

On Tuesday, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said the Commission was investigating the conditions for wind park development in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria, without giving further details about why these countries in particular were highlighted.

(Reporting by Bernard Orr; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christopher Cushing)