China launches investigation following EU research into solar, wind and other products

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BEIJING (AP) — China’s Ministry of Commerce announced Wednesday that it will launch an investigation into whether the European Union is engaging in unfair trade practices as part of its probe into Chinese companies.

The study will focus on wind energy, photovoltaic energy, security equipment and other issues and is scheduled to be completed by January 10 next year, with a possible three-month extension until April.

The research was conducted at the request of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

The announcement is apparently in retaliation for recent EU investigations into Chinese companies, which were launched earlier this year.

One of the topics is an investigation into whether Chinese subsidies give wind turbine companies an unfair advantage in competing for projects in five EU member states: Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria.

The EU has also announced an investigation into two Chinese solar panel manufacturers who bid for a 455 megawatt solar park in Romania.

China has accused the European Union of protectionism and the “reckless distortion” of the definition of subsidies in response to a new EU investigation into Chinese wind turbine manufacturers.

In June the EU raises tariffs on Chinese electric vehiclesescalating a trade dispute over Beijing’s export subsidies that the EU is concerned about European car manufacturers.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has announced that it will impose interim tariffs, which will see Chinese carmakers face additional duties of up to 38%, up from the current 10%.

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