China Premier Calls To 'oppose Decoupling' At Economic Forum

China premier calls to 'oppose decoupling' at economic forum

Dalian, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jun, 2024) China's premier called Tuesday for countries to "oppose decoupling", as economic tensions simmer between Beijing and the West, and the European Union prepares to impose new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles.

Friction between the West and the world's second-largest economy has intensified in recent years, particularly as Beijing and Washington compete for supremacy in advanced technology and new "green" industries.

"We should broadly open our minds, work closely together, abandon camp formations, (and) oppose decoupling," said Li Qiang, China's second-ranking leader, who has been tasked by President Xi Jinping with managing economic affairs.

Li's comments came during a speech at the opening of a World Economic Forum conference known as the "Summer Davos", held this year in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian.

Worries about a disengagement between China and major economies in the West have rumbled for years as they clash over a range of issues including trade and technology.

Last month, the United States hiked tariffs on $18 billion worth of imports from the country, targeting strategic sectors like electric vehicles, batteries, steel and critical minerals, a move Beijing warned would "severely affect relations between the two superpowers.

China is also facing heightened scrutiny from the European Union, which is preparing to impose tariffs of up to 38 percent on its EVs by July 4, citing concerns over unfair competition caused by heavy state subsidies.

The duties will be provisional until November, when they are set to come into full effect.

The EU says Beijing's "unfair subsidisation" of the EV industry threatens European manufacturers, echoing allegations by Washington that China is seeking to "flood" the US market with heavily subsidised EVs, solar panels and other items.

Li dismissed those claims.

Chinese EVs, lithium batteries and solar panels "first of all ensure domestic demand, while also enriching supply in the international market, easing inflationary pressure on the world and making a positive contribution by China to the global response to climate change," he said.

"The rapid rise of China's new industries is rooted in our own unique comparative advantages."

He urged the "stability and smooth operation" of supply chains and "liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment."

European leaders including Commission head Ursula von der Leyen have insisted the bloc does not intend to decouple from China, seeking instead to "de-risk" its economy.

But Beijing has insisted the pending tariffs are "purely protectionist", arguing the success of its EV industry is the result of innovation and supply chain efficiency rather than government support.

Chinese and EU trade chiefs held talks on the planned tariffs earlier this month and have agreed to more consultations.

But China's EVs could soon also be targeted by Canadian authorities who are weighing their own additional tariffs.