Hopes visit will help drive settlement of EV dispute
en.hangzhou.com.cn   2024-06-24 08:45   Source: China Daily

With the European Union and Beijing locked in a row about the EU's planned anti-subsidy tariffs on imports of Chinese electric vehicles, Robert Habeck, Germany's minister for economic affairs and climate action, is to visit China next week, said the German government.

According to Habeck's schedule, he will make a trip to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou from Friday to Sunday. The topics on his agenda include economic ties between Germany and China, as well as the political developments in the EU and climate protection, a German economy ministry spokesman said.

Habeck does not represent the European Commission, the EU's executive body, but he "will not be able to avoid addressing" the issue of the planned EU tariffs, the spokesman said.

The trade volume between Germany and China was about €254 billion ($272 billion) last year. It is natural that Germany worries the EU tariffs on Chinese EVs will trigger a tariff war with China, which will make Germany a major victim.

Habeck's visit to China at this juncture reflects Berlin's anxiety over the tariffs' possible influences on German companies dealing with China and German investment in China.

Habeck's concerns over the EU tariffs are palpable in his calling for immediate negotiations between the EU and China following the European Commission's announcement of the tariffs.

The EU has left a window open until July 4 for negotiations with China over its proposed anti-subsidy tariffs of up to 38 percent on imports of Chinese EVs.

Habeck has warned that tariffs are always the worst means to resolve trade disputes, and if Germany, an economy relying heavily on trade and investment, is involved in a tariff war with China because of the EU tariffs, "then the baby would be thrown out with the bathwater".

Beijing initiated anti-dumping probes into EU pork products on Monday. Despite so, China attaches great significance to stabilizing healthy economic ties with the EU. It is a consensus, even among some policymakers of the EU, that Chinese EVs are indispensable for the EU's green transition. China always values its mutually beneficial economic and trade ties with Germany, and is committed to providing fair, transparent and predictable business environment for foreign companies and investments.

It is to be hoped that proper solutions can be found through Habeck's exchanges with his Chinese hosts before the new measures come into force on July 4.

Author: Li Yang   Editor: Ye Lijiao