China Economic Review

EU, China market economy dispute mars climate unity

China’s anger at the EU’s refusal to recognize it as a “market economy” is threatening efforts to present a united front on climate change after Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord, according to the Financial Times. At a China-EU summit in Brussels this month the Chinese side scuppered the release of an anticipated joint statement on climate after EU officials declined to back China’s push to be labeled a market economy within the World Trade Organization. China’s foreign ministry said only that “work on the statement was not completed” when asked whether it was withheld because of market economy negotiations. In fact, the statement had been shared with media well before the summit began. China has also been pushing officials from Germany and other EU member states to back its bid for “market economy status” at the WTO. MES would make it harder for other countries to take punitive action against what they regard as unfair Chinese trade practices.