Restraint‘necessary’in telecom dispute
Beijing urged Brussels to show restraint amid reports that the European Union is poised to probe Chinese telecom companies in Europe, according to China Daily on June 2.
Visiting Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming delivered the message at the EU’s headquarters on June 1 after a meeting with his EU counterpart Karel De Gucht.
Chen implied that if Brussels uses punitive measures to protect its market, Beijing is also ready to do so.
He made the remarks after a report in the Financial Times said the EU is ready to launch trade complaints and investigations against Chinese makers of mobile network equipment, including Huawei and ZTE, as soon as July this year.
The report said the European Commission, the EU body charged with investigating trade complaints, has got“very solid evidence,” showing that the companies benefited from illegal government subsidies and had sold products in the EU below cost.
Brussels promised during the meeting on May 31 chaired by Chen and De Gucht that the EU will not use such measures.
The EU’s planned investigation has already triggered concerns in Europe.
Swedish Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling warned that a planned probe by the European Commission into “illegal subsidies”received by Chinese wireless network vendors risks backfiring on the European wireless network industry.
While Chinese companies’ share of the EU’s wireless equipment market is 30 percent, the EU’s share of China’s wireless equipment market is 45 percent. So if China was to hit back with similar measures, it would hurt EU more than it would hurt itself.