(Reuters) – China’s ambassador to the European Union called the EU’s probe into Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers over state subsidies “unfair”, Fu Cong told Bloomberg News in an interview.
Fu told Bloomberg that China is cooperating with the EU’s probe “because we do want to avoid a situation that the two sides will have to resort to trade measures against each other”.
The ambassador told Bloomberg that EU subsidies many of its own companies and said that if China took the same approach as the bloc has done, “there are many things that could be subject to investigation”.
Last year, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether to impose punitive tariffs to protect European Union producers against cheaper Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports it says are benefiting from state subsidies.
Earlier this month Reuters reported that European Commission investigators are to inspect Chinese automakers in the coming weeks as part of a probe into whether to impose punitive tariffs to protect European electric vehicle (EV) makers. The inspectors will visit BYD, Geely and SAIC, two sources told Reuters.
Tensions between China and the EU have been growing, partly due to Beijing’s closer ties with Moscow after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The EU is seeking to reduce its reliance on the world’s second-largest economy, particularly for materials and products needed for its green transition.
(This story has been refiled to correct the China ambassador’s surname to Fu in paragraph 2)
(Reporting by Gursimran Kaur in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)