Beijing launches new investigation

Beijing launches new investigation
Beijing launches new investigation

Trade tensions between China and the European Union (EU) continue. Relations between the two economic powers have become strained since the EU’s desire to reduce its commercial dependence on China, particularly in the field of technology. New episode in these tensions: Beijing announced on Sunday that it had launched an anti-dumping investigation into an engineering chemical product imported from the EU, the United States, Taiwan and Japan. This investigation concerns polyoxymethylene copolymer, an engineering plastic used in telephones, automobile parts and medical equipment, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said. These polymers can partially replace metals such as copper and zinc and have various applications. They are notably used in the automotive, medical and electronics industries, the ministry said in a statement.

This investigation will last one year but could possibly be extended by six months, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Dumping is a practice which consists in particular of selling abroad at prices lower than those charged on the national market. This announced investigation follows similar investigations carried out by the European Union (EU) into subsidies granted by China to its industry. In April, the EU opened an investigation into Chinese public procurement of medical devices, suspecting practices “discriminatory” against European companies. Beijing immediately reacted, accusing the EU of sending “protectionist signals” and “target Chinese companies”.

Cognac investigation

In January, China launched an anti-dumping investigation into wine spirits, such as cognac, imported from the EU amid trade tensions between the two economic powers. According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, this initiative follows a complaint filed in November by the China Liquor Association, on behalf of the Chinese wine spirits sector. “This request contained the evidence necessary for the initiation of an anti-dumping investigation under” of Chinese regulations, the ministry said in a press release published on its website. It must end before January 5, 2025 but could possibly be extended by six months in the event of “special circumstances”the Chinese press release said.

At the beginning of May, Emmanuel Macron thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for not imposing customs taxes “temporary” against French cognac, after having offered him bottles of it on the occasion of his state visit to France (May 6 and 7). “I also thank the president for his openness regarding the provisional measures on French cognac and his wish not to see them applied », Explained the French head of state to the press, alongside the Chinese number one, at the end of their face-to-face meeting in Paris. According to a list of gifts given to the Chinese president, these gifts included a bottle of Hennessy XO Cognac and a carafe of “Louis XIII” Cognac from Maison Rémy Martin.

Electric vehicles

Concerned by competition from Chinese electric vehicles on the European market and pressed by France, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced in September 2023 the opening of an investigation into Chinese subsidies for electric cars. China denounced this investigation, judging it as “pure protectionism” and stressed that it was likely to harm Sino-European trade relations. Questioned at the beginning of January during a press conference in Brussels, Ursula von der Leyen did not comment specifically on the Chinese investigation into alcohol, but insisted on the importance of having competition ” fair “ with China.

“There must be transparency regarding the type of subsidies granted and the circumstances in which they are granted,” she explained.

-

-

NEXT Jiangxi, the world heart of strategic metals