EU trade commissioner scolds China

Oct. 27, 2010 at 10:03 AM

BRUSSELS, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht admonished China for its protectionist tendencies concerning government contracts.

At an EU-China conference in Brussels, De Gucht called for Beijing to loosen policies that make it difficult for foreign companies to secure Chinese government contracts. He also said China's recent ban on rare earth minerals exports was a sign that China was attempting to leverage its monopoly to benefit Chinese companies, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

China has banned exports of rare earth minerals, a critical component to many electronic devices. Over the years, the United States and Australia have cut back on rare earth mining and production, allowing China to command 97 percent of the market.

"It's obvious that we cannot continue being completely dependent on China," De Gucht said.

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