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Commentary: Time for EU to recognize China's market economy status

English.news.cn   2011-09-14 19:30:33 FeedbackPrintRSS

by Xinhua writer Wu Liming

BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Recognition of China's full market economy status has long become an obstacle hindering development of China-European Union (EU) relations.

On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged the EU to recognize China's status as a market economy, and asked EU leaders to look at bilateral relations from a bold and strategic perspective.

It is known to all that China and the EU have established a comprehensive strategic partnership, and accordingly they should regard each other as strategic partners, or to put it simply, sincere friends.

Since eruption of the global financial crisis and the debt crisis in Europe, China has offered help to Europe. For instance, China sent several delegations to Europe to purchase huge amounts of goods and services in 2009, aiming to boost Europe's economy. Since last year, China has purchased bonds of several European countries, trying to save nations deep in a debt crisis.

By contrast, it is a pity that the EU side still shows no sincerity on the issue of recognizing China's market economy status.

Over the years, many EU leaders have repeatedly said they "were preparing" to recognize China's status as a market economy, but to no avail. Several other EU leaders, more often than not, held high the excuse of "technical criteria," saying the issue is a "sheer technical problem."

All in all, the EU side has played and is still playing the trick of postponement, practicing protectionism in the name of fair trade.

As a matter of fact, such tricks bring no benefit to the EU itself. Instead, an early recognition of China's market economy status is a choice the EU side should seriously consider at present.

For one thing, China's market economy status will be recognized by the whole world by 2016 based on rules of the World Trade Organization.

Therefore, the earlier that the EU announces its recognition, the earlier it could demonstrate its sincerity toward China, winning more popularity and friendship among the Chinese people.

In the meantime, such a move would benefit the EU itself in its economic transformation and restructuring. The EU's economy and China's complement each other considerably.

In fact, recognition of China's status as a market economy needs political will from the EU side.

The so-called "technical criteria" have set an obstacle to China. But ironically, several other countries that the EU has recognized as market economies, even some EU countries, fail to reach the "technical criteria."

In addition, some developed Western countries, like New Zealand, have acknowledged China's status.

The EU is China's top trading partner, while China is the EU's second biggest. So whether the EU recognizes China's status or not does not have a big impact on China-EU economic cooperation.

However, just as Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying has put it, to recognize China's market economy status at an early date will be a question of political judgement, and "a question of promoting mutual trust."

The Chinese people hope that EU leaders could show their strategic vision, political wisdom and sincerity to facilitate expansion of overall China-EU relations.

Editor: Wang Guanqun
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