Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes EU Council’s incoming president

Giuseppe de vita
credit: apnews

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – China’s President Xi Jinping congratulated incoming European Council President Antonio Costa, emphasizing China-EU relations as the EU imposes import tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, potentially igniting a new trade war front.

China’s President Xi Jinping congratulated incoming European Council President Antonio Costa, Chinese state media stated, a few hours before European Commission curbs on Chinese electric cars are planned to take effect. The Commission is imposed to confirm provisional import tariffs of up to 37.6 per cent on Chinese-manufactured electric vehicles (EVs) after the union blamed the world’s no 2 economy for delivering its firms with heavy state subsidies.

How Are Chinese EVs Impacted by EU Import Tariffs?

Xi stated he “attaches great significance to the development of China-EU relations” as Europe braces for retaliatory actions from Beijing and the possible beginning of a new front in the West’s tariff war with the $18.6 trillion economy. EU trade policy has shifted increasingly defensive over situations that China’s production-focused development model could see it flooded with inexpensive goods as Chinese firms look to step up exports amid feeble domestic demand.

China and the European Commission have been in talks since last week over the curbs that Beijing and some European automakers want discarded. Beijing rejects indictments that Chinese EVs are unfairly subsidised. Xi expressed China “is committed to developing the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership,” according to the report. “China has always regarded Europe as an important pole in the multipolar order,” he said.

Can the EU Balance Trade Tensions with China?

It will fall to Costa, a former Portuguese PM, to discover a common cause among the Council’s 27 member states, as they linger over whether to back the Commission on the EV tariffs in an advisory vote in the coming weeks. Germany, whose carmakers produced a third of their sales last year in China, reportedly wants to eliminate the tariffs, while France has been among the firmest backers. China is currently embarking on an anti-dumping probe into European brandy imports. Chinese customs data indicates that almost all EU brandy exports to China arrived from France last year.

What Is the Future of China-EU Economic Relations? 

Beijing has also extended an anti-dumping investigation into imports of European pork and its by-products, which critics say is aimed at pressuring Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark to split with the Commission over the curbs.

The EU and China are significant economic partners. However, the EU’s trade deficit with China is nearly €400 billion. The EU therefore emphasised to China the importance of reaching a more balanced economic relationship with a level playing field and interchange. The EU expects China to take more substantial action to improve market access and the investment environment for EU investors and exporters. The EU seeks to strengthen resilience by addressing necessary dependencies in specific sectors, in full adherence with the World Trade Organization rules.

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Giuseppe De Vita is a journalist at Brussels Morning News, He is covering European politics, Law and Technology news. Lawyer at De Vita & Partners Law Firm specializing in Criminal Law, Military and Space Law, and Cyber Security. In April 2023, he authored the monograph "Governance in Extraterrestrial Space", showcasing his extensive legal expertise. He has acquired vast experience in handling criminal and civil matters, managing litigation before various levels of jurisdiction across the national territory. In 2010, he obtained a Master's degree in Information Technology Law. Additionally, in the same year, he served as a teacher in criminal-IT subjects at the Penitentiary Police School of Portici, providing courses aimed at officials and managers of the Penitentiary Police and the Penitentiary Administration, focusing on IT security. He also serves as a Workplace Safety teacher, conducting training courses at various organizations and educational institutions. Moreover, he is a lecturer on Anti-Corruption and Transparency. The law firm, under his guidance, assists both private and corporate clients in court, accumulating significant experience in criminal and civil disputes over the years. Furthermore, it conducts Risk Management and Compliance, Cyber Resilience, and Cyber Security activities, with a specific focus on privacy protection (EU Regulation 2016/679 - GDPR). Giuseppe frequently publishes articles in legal journals, analyzing various regulatory issues. He has contributed articles to the legal journal Altalex, of which he is also a member of the Scientific Committee.