Published: 16:09, April 13, 2024
Chinese envoy refutes EU trade curbs, calls for common development
By Xinhua
Employees work on a smart NEV assembly line at a manufacturing plant in Yibin, Sichuan province, in January. (ZHUANG GEER / FOR CHINA DAILY)

DELPHI, Greece - The Chinese ambassador to Greece on Friday called for further cooperation between China and Europe, noting that trade restrictions would ultimately harm European consumers.

It is irrational to impose stricter restrictions on high-tech products from China out of concerns that China's technological progress would weaken Europe's competitiveness, Xiao Junzheng said while addressing the ninth Delphi Economic Forum held in central Greece.

Such a mindset would hinder healthy competition, reduce the vitality of global innovation and obstruct the common progress of mankind, he added.

Delegates attending the forum agreed that global challenges require China-EU cooperation in sustainable development, which will benefit both sides and the world at large

China is fueling technological innovation in the global electric vehicle (EV) industry as well as the green and low-carbon transition, the ambassador said. "The popularity of Chinese EVs is the result of free market choice. Trade restrictions, however, are bound to be a 'boomerang', ultimately hitting European consumers and Europe's efforts to cut emissions."

Similarly, the photovoltaics sector relies on Chinese solar panels to achieve the EU's renewable targets, Xiao said. As a result, more than 400 solar panel manufacturers, research institutions and associations in Europe are opposed to trade barriers on Chinese solar products.

Delegates attending the forum agreed that global challenges require China-EU cooperation in sustainable development, which will benefit both sides and the world at large.

Inge Neven, chief executive officer of VITO NV, a Belgium-based research organization in clean technology and sustainability services, said China and the EU have a lot to learn from each other through cooperation in innovation and research. "Governments have an important role to play, but should allow free space," she said.

The annual Delphi forum opened on Wednesday and will conclude on Saturday, gathering more than 800 representatives from across the globe under this year's theme “The Great Transition".