Beijing is concerned about a revival in anti-China protectionism as its major trading partners slip toward recession, the Wall Street Journal reported. Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO, admitted such concerns had been raised by Chinese officials in recent meetings. Protectionism and the global financial crisis are likely to feature prominently on the agenda for the annual Asia-Europe Meeting of leaders from the two regions, which begins on Friday in Beijing. The EU is China’s biggest trading partner and responsible for six of the 37 investigations launched so far this year in response to allegations of China dumping goods. Although it recently extended anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese shoe imports, it declined to set new tariffs on Chinese steel. An EU spokesman said it was premature to talk of a protectionist backlash. Indeed, some economists predict that Chinese-made goods will fare well in the difficult times ahead as beleaguered consumers increasingly turn to low-cost products.
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