China slams US, EU protectionism against nation’s car exports

China slammed protectionist actions by the US and the EU against Chinese car exports on Tuesday, saying that the leapfrog development of China's vehicle industry has provided cost-effective products with high quality to the world.

Division of labor and mutually beneficial collaboration are distinctive features of the auto industry chain, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said during a regular press conference. 

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in January, China exported 443,000 vehicles, up by 47.4 percent year-on-year, maintaining rapid growth. The numbers reflected the high-quality development and strong innovation of China's manufacturing industry, Mao noted.

Every one in three exported automobiles from China is an electric model, which contributes significantly to the world's green and low-carbon transition, the spokesperson said.

Protectionist measures taken by relevant countries against China to turn normal trade activities into security and ideological issues, build "small yards with high fences" in the name of "de-risking," and attempt to "trip others up" instead of "running faster" may seem like a win, but they will actually lead to a loss of one's own long-term development and encumber the progress and prosperity of the world, Mao said.

China believes in solidarity, cooperation and openness rather than division, confrontation and isolation. We believe it's important to accommodate the interests of others while pursuing one's own, work for common development while seeking one's own development, create a world-class, market-oriented and law-based environment for global economic and trade cooperation, and make economic globalization more inclusive and beneficial to all, Mao noted.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo issued a warning over the potential national security threats posed by electric vehicles (EVs) manufactured in China, reported Bloomberg in January. This came as the Biden administration considered implementing further tariffs on vehicles imported from the Asian nation.

The rapid growth of China's auto industry and its expanding export scale are bound to draw attention from other countries. Other Chinese industries have been affected by trade protectionism during their export processes, Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The EU has launched several investigations against China. Among these, the European Commission is probing a subsidiary of the Chinese rail company CRRC to ascertain if it received subsidies that unfairly allowed it to undercut European competitors. Additionally, an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs commenced in October 2023.

The investigations into China's auto exports by the US and the EU are not conducted from a perspective of global interest but originate from hegemonic and unilateral thinking, said Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who closely follows China-US trade issues, on Tuesday.

China's opening-up has provided opportunities for developing countries worldwide. China's participation in global governance initiatives is based on common values, not just its own interests. This is China's attitude toward globalization, Gao noted.

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