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China's Premier Li Keqiang denounces protectionism

June 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM   |   Comments

BEIJING, June 15 (UPI) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said trade protectionism was a destructive strategy, even as trading tensions build with the European Union.

"Any nation that conducts trade protectionism is doing harm to its neighbors and will bring all parties concerned to a dead end," Li said during a meeting with Klaus Martin Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the China Daily reported Saturday.

In a Friday meeting with the State Council, Li called on efforts to increase domestic demand for solar panels -- one of the products that has become a bone of contention between China and the EU.

The European Union recently imposed a temporary 11.8 percent surcharge on Chinese solar panels as an anti-dumping penalty.

In August, that penalty could increase by 500 percent if an agreement with China is not reached.

Anti-dumping accusations are going back and forth between the two countries.

In November, China imposed anti-dumping duties on seamless stainless steel tubes made in Europe. On Thursday, the EU requested that talks on those duties that are set to continue for five years.

China, similarly, has called for a dialogue to resolve the issue of the solar panels. Concurrently, China said it had launched an investigation into dumping practices involving European wine.

"Nations should enhance cooperation ... (and) address each other's concerns while they are committed to seeking their own development and benefits," Li said in the meeting with the State Council.

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