Chinese PM meets German chancellor amid trade row
Berlin: China`s new Premier Li Keqiang will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday amid a looming trade spat between Asia`s economic giant and the European Union.
The leaders were expected to discuss economic issues and human rights but also international topics such as Iran`s nuclear program and the civil war in Syria, German officials said before the meeting in Berlin.
During a visit to Switzerland yesterday, Li criticised the EU for pursuing anti-dumping cases against Chinese solar power and telecommunications equipment manufacturers that he warned will hurt both sides.
"The cases over these two types of products will hurt Chinese industries, business and jobs and also damage the vital interests of European users and consumers," China`s official Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying. "We express firm opposition."
The EU Commission, the 27-nation bloc`s executive arm, accuses China of pricing its solar panels and mobile telecom devices too cheaply, thereby flooding the European market, distorting competition and hurting European manufacturers.
Brussels has therefore proposed imposing an average 47 per cent special duty on Chinese solar panels, and it is continuing to look into the telecommunication sector.
Germany, Europe`s biggest economy, has indicated that it hopes for a negotiated solution in those cases rather than having the EU impose anti-dumping duties, which could provoke China to impose retaliatory tariffs.
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