EU lawmakers stress China's importance as trade partner, but oppose change in status

GMT 00:21 2016 Friday ,13 May

Arab Today, arab today EU lawmakers stress China's importance as trade partner, but oppose change in status

European Parliament
Strasbourg - XINHUA

In a non-legislative resolution on Thursday, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) stressed the importance of the European Union's (EU) partnership with China. Nevertheless, the EU lawmakers were opposed to recognizing China's market economy status (MES) as set out in global trade rules.

China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. Under the country's accession protocol, China will automatically transit to a market economy status for Europe by Dec. 11, 2016.

Meanwhile, the MEPs recognized that the Chinese market "has been the main engine of profitability for a number of EU industries and brands," adding that China is the EU's second biggest trading partner "with daily trade flows of over 1 billion euros."

MEPs proposed that China's exports to the EU must be treated in a "non-standard" way.

The resolution called on the Commission to come forward with a proposal that strikes a balance between these needs.

"The EU must to find a way to do this in compliance with its international obligations in the WTO, and in particular China's accession protocol," they stated.

Earlier this year, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has urged the EU to obey the WTO rules and stop its unfair treatment of China.

The EU is an important member of the WTO, a vital supporting force to the multilateral trade and international legal systems, Hong said, adding that China hopes the EU will fulfill its commitments to China's entry into WTO.

So far, over 80 countries, including Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia, have recognized China's market economy status.

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