China to push reforms despite market economy status

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Friday said Beijing will continue pushing market-based reforms regardless of whether the European Union (EU) grants it the status of a market economy.

“Granting the status of a market economy does not depend on any individual, country or organisation, because there is no universally accepted standard,” said Li at a press conference in Beijing on the occasion of the 1+6 Roundtable, that comprises China and the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation, World Bank, International Labour Organisation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the Financial Stability Board.

The debate about the EU conceding market economy status to China — something that other economic powers, including the US and Japan also have to undertake — stems from the above cited protocol.

The decision, which would change the way anti-dumping penalties on Chinese products is calculated, is of symbolic importance to China.

Meanwhile, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said at the briefing that the situation is governed by the terms of the protocol and not subject to negotiation.

In a less conciliatory tone, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce asked the EU to stop using its old anti-dumping probe method, and added that to continue to do so would be contrary to the WTO protocol.

–IANS

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