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EU Official Wants China to Open Markets

By JOE McDONALD AP Business Writer
2006 The Associated Press (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

 BEIJING — The EU trade commissioner called on China on Tuesday to live up to its major-economy status by opening its markets wider to foreign competition, while Beijing accused Europe of protectionism for hitting shoe imports with anti-dumping(反倾销) duties.

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson was visiting Beijing amid disputes over trade in auto parts, shoes, and other goods. He applauded China's progress in meeting market-opening commitments, but said Beijing must do more in areas such as fighting product piracy.

"China is now in a position not only to accept new responsibility in key policy areas, but also to show strong leadership in the WTO and the open global trading system," Mandelson said in a speech to students at elite Tsinghua University.

Beijing "needs to fulfill its WTO obligations(履行义务), open its markets further and commit to trading fairly both in terms of the conditions of domestic production and the access it provides to its own market," the commissioner said.

Mandelson met later with Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, and they announced a series of initiatives including setting up a joint trade Web site and more official contacts to settle disputes.

Bo criticized the EU's decision, along with the United States, to file a World Trade Organization complaint over China's tariffs on auto parts imports and to impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese shoes.

The shoe duties are "a kind of protectionism(保护主义)," Bo said at a joint news conference. He defended China's auto parts tariffs as "in compliance with WTO principles."

The European Union, China's biggest export market, ran a euro106 billion (US$133 billion) trade deficit with China last year.

The EU last month called on China to end to what it said are unfair barriers to European companies, drop demands that they hand over technology to Chinese partners and halt subsidies to industry.

Bo said China must be a treated as a developing country that still has 100 to 200 million people living on the equivalent of US$1 a day.

"Those who call for the wider opening of China to the outside must keep in mind China's status as a developing country," he said.

Mandelson said he wouldn't comment on complaints about the shoe duties and auto parts claims. But he responded to appeals to treat China as a developing country by noting its technological achievements and status as a major exporter.

"This is a country that sends men into space and puts together the A320 aircraft," he said, referring to an agreement this month by Airbus Industrie to open a final assembly line in China. "So it has a lot going for it."

Later in the week, Mandelson was due to take part in a meeting on climate change and attend a conference in the southwestern city of Chengdu aimed at attracting more Chinese investment to Europe.

 
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