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China issues warning to EU Commission over electric vehicle probe

Chinese electric vehicle
Chinese electric vehicle Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP, AFP
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China has warned the EU Commission that an investigation into electric vehicles could damage business relations and increase prices for European car buyers

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China has warned that the EU Commission's launch of anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles could harm bilateral trade and raise prices of European Consumers. 

The investigation was announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her State of the Union address to parliament on Wednesday.  

She also said Brussels would launch a probe into what she said were the "huge state subsidies" allowing China to flood the European market with cheap electric cars, opening a new front in the battle to lead the new green economy and promised that Europe's green energy transition would be "fair and just" for farmers and businesses.

In response, China's EU Chamber of Commerce urged Brussels to think again. In a statement, it urged the Commission not to resort to what it called "unilateral trade tools to block China's EVs in the EU and raise their costs."

China's growth in exports of electric vehicles (EV) quadrupled last year and BYD Auto, the biggest seller among fast-developing Chinese EV makers, is starting to compete against global brands in their home markets by ramping up exports to auto powerhouses Japan and Germany.

At the G20 summit in New Delhi last week, Chinese Premier Li Qiang met with von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. Li told the EU chief China and Europe should further "unite and cooperate," according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“Risk prevention does not preclude cooperation, interdependence should not be equated with insecurity,” said Li.

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