China to push reforms despite market economy status

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.

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