China's commerce ministry calls for win-win cooperation, healthy competition between China, EU

Robots weld bodyshells of cars at a workshop of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Li Auto Inc. in Changzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Jan. 10, 2024. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

style="text-align: left; margin-bottom: 15px;">China's commerce ministry has called on China and the European Union to handle economic and trade frictions properly through dialogue and consultation, advocate win-win cooperation and welcome healthy competition.

Efforts should be made to accommodate the legitimate concerns of both sides and avoid the escalation of trade frictions, the ministry said.

It has held symposiums with Chinese-funded enterprises and business associations in countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece. Some business representatives have expressed concerns that the EU has been continuously suppressing Chinese enterprises on the grounds of so-called fair competition.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said that accusations of "unfair competition" against China are groundless, and that fair competition is the consensus of all countries and the cornerstone of international exchange, and it cannot be defined by a few countries.

True fair competition means striving to improve oneself, rather than tripping up others. It should be open, cooperative, equal and mutually beneficial, rather than exclusive. It also means following rules that have international consensus, rather than breaking or tampering with them at will, he said.

China advocates win-win cooperation, but it neither evades nor fears competition. It welcomes healthy competition, and opposes vicious competition designed to contain and suppress, Wang said.

In response to concerns over the EU's anti-subsidy investigation of Chinese electric vehicles, which has affected cooperation between Chinese auto companies and their European counterparts, Wang said that the right way for the two sides to get along is to expand cooperation and achieve win-win results amid healthy competition. He made the comments during a recent visit to a joint venture between China's Chery Automobile and Spain's Ebro-EV Motors in Barcelona, Spain.

He expressed the hope that the European side will abandon trade protectionism and return to the correct path of dialogue and cooperation.

He also said that he hopes the enterprises involved in the joint venture will overcome their difficulties to make their work an important project of economic and trade cooperation between China and Spain, and between China and Europe.