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China launches investigation in response to EU probes into solar, wind and other products

China launches investigation in response to EU probes into solar, wind and other products

China’s Ministry of Commerce has announced it will launch an investigation into whether the European Union used unfair trade practices in its investigation of Chinese companies.

BEIJING — China announced an investigation Wednesday into whether the European Union adopted unfair trade practices in its investigations of Chinese companies bidding for projects in the 27-nation bloc, the move the latest in a escalating trade war between the two economic giants.

The investigation will focus on wind power, photovoltaic cells, security equipment and electric trains, China’s Commerce Ministry said.

The EU has used the new regulation to investigate companies bidding for projects in the European Union. These include an investigation into whether Chinese subsidies give wind turbine companies an unfair advantage when competing for projects in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria.

China has accused the European Union of protectionism and “irresponsibly distorting” the definition of subsidies in response to the investigation. The EU has also investigated Chinese companies bidding on a 455-megawatt solar park in Romania and 20 electric trains in Bulgaria.

The Chinese investigation will be completed by Jan. 10, with a possible three-month extension to April. This was requested by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

The EU imposed temporary tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles last week over subsidies it says give carmakers an unfair advantage when they export from China. In response, China has launched an investigation into European pork exports.

Both the EU and the United States fear that cheap Chinese cars could overwhelm domestic manufacturers and lead to job losses. China’s car exports rose by about 30% in the first six months of this year.