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The recognition of market economy status to China is not on the agenda


15 Feb 2012


Global Europe

European Liberals and Democrats deplore the commitment made in Beijing yesterday by the European Council President, Herman van Rompuy, to open discussions on the recognition of market economy status to China.

"It is disheartening to see that once again the EU has thrown away its principles while dealing with China. At a time when we are witnessing a tremendous resurgence of political repression in Beijing, European leaders don't have a word of compassion for the hundreds of dissidents imprisoned and brutalized. China is a market, and has a formidable economy. China is not however a market economy. It is an economic system locked by the state and padlocked by the Communist Party," said Guy Verhofstadt, President of ALDE.

"This announcement is incomprehensible for several reasons, in particular the timing. While China insists on preventing any action by the international community in Syria as in Iran, it is surprising that the Council president chooses to make such an offer. The EU trade policy can not be so completely disconnected from its diplomatic and economic interests. China should obtain this status only when European investments in China are secured, and reciprocity in open markets is guaranteed," said Marielle DE SARNEZ (Modem, France), rapporteur in the International Trade Committee for EU-China trade relations.

"The goal is questionable. Mr. van Rompuy is actually begging for a contribution of China to the future European Stability Mechanism. It seems totally unreasonable to integrate a third country whose currency is deliberately manipulated, in the management of European sovereign debt. Furthermore, I fail to understand why the EU should abandon its trade defense instruments against China, which would be the consequence of legal recognition of market economy status to China. It would be no longer possible to commit to,nor to maintain anti-dumping procedures," said Metin Kazak (Movement for Rights and Freedom, Bulgaria), ALDE coordinator for the INTA Committee. "The contrast between the behavior of the European Council President in Beijing with Premier Wen Jiabao, and the U.S. President with respect to Xi Jinping, the future Chinese number one currently visiting Washington, is striking. In one case, we see a leader without a mandate selling out the interests of Europe, and in the other a leader reaffirming convictions before all other considerations", concluded Niccolò Rinaldi (Italia dei Valori, Italy), Member of the INTA Committee.

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