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China, EU agree to launch consultations on EV subsidy investigation


China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission, agreed on Saturday to start consultations on the issue of the European Union's anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs).

The consensus was reached during talks between the two officials via video link, the ministry said in a press release.

On the same day, Wang also met with German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, reiterating China's stance on the investigation, the Ministry of Commerce said.

China is willing to consider both parties' reasonable concerns to avoid the escalation of trade frictions in a rational and professional manner, and stands ready for dialogue and consultations on EVs if the European Union (EU) is willing to sit down at the negotiating table with sincerity, Wang said.

Wang highlighted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Germany. He emphasized the deep economic interdependence and mutual reliance of the two markets.

China hopes that Germany will play a positive role in the EU, prompting the European side to meet China halfway, he told Habeck.

If the European side adheres stubbornly to its wrong way, China will take necessary measures, including lodging a case under the World Trade Organization dispute settlement mechanism, to firmly defend its legitimate rights and interests, Wang added.

Noting that Germany and China are supporters and beneficiaries of globalization, Habeck said the German government is deeply concerned about the EU's anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs, which will negatively impact Europe's green transition and consumer interests.

Habeck believes that imposing tariffs is the worst approach as it could lead to a vicious spiral of trade friction escalations, stressing that dialogue and consultations are the only way to solve problems.

(With input from Xinhua; Cover via CFP)

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