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China Warns Of Possible ‘Trade War’ With EU

China, EU, Germany, trade war, tariffs

China warned that escalating frictions with the EU over electrical vehicle imports could trigger a “trade war.” These remarks were made when Germany’s economy minister arrived in Beijing.

The EU’s proposed tariffs is high on his agenda.

Robert Habeck’s three-day trip to China is the first by a senior European official since Brussels proposed hefty duties on Chinese-made electric vehicles. China has unleashed countermeasures.

Chinese automakers urged Beijing this week to hike tariffs on imported European gasoline-powered cars.

The EU’s move on EV tariffs plunged trade ties with the world’s second-largest economy to a new low.

The government also launched a dumping probe into EU pork imports. That was in retaliation for the EU Commission’s move.

A statement attributed to the Chinese commerce ministry’s spokesperson said. “The European side continues to escalate trade frictions and could trigger a ‘trade war.’ The responsibility lies entirely with the European side.”

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The statement also said that the European side had “intimidated and coerced Chinese enterprises, threatened to apply punitive high tariff rates, and demanded overly broad information.”

Habeck’s visit is seen as a bid to cool tensions. He will explain to Chinese officials the recent tariff announcement while looking to stop Chinese retaliation against German products.

Germany’s voice carries weight, and its leading car manufacturers have vociferously opposed the EU tariffs. The country’s carmakers would be the most exposed to countermeasures from China. Almost a third of their sales came from the $18.6 trillion economy last year.

Berlin has urged dialogue while expecting China to compromise.

Chinese state media has portrayed Habeck’s visit as a chance to defuse tensions. Experts writing in the state-controlled tabloid Global Times said Germany should seek consensus.

With inputs from Reuters