China refuted recent U.S. comments warning Europe against granting China market economy status on December 30, saying China has been living up to its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks when responding to a question regarding a Financial Times report, which said Washington has warned Brussels against granting China market economy status as it could hamper efforts to prevent Chinese companies flooding U.S. and European markets with unfairly cheap goods.
"We hope this is a rumor," Lu told a routine press briefing. To safeguard the solemnity of the global trade system is the common responsibility of all WTO member states and also meets their respective interests, he said.
Since China is currently not characterized by the EU as a full market economy, countries that level dumping accusations against it always pick data from a "surrogate" country with a recognized market economy.
Lu said according to China's WTO Accession Protocol signed in 2001, this practice should be terminated by December 11, 2016.
It is a fundamental principle of the international law to abide by treaties, he said. No contracting party can evade its legal obligation to international treaties by citing domestic law and take unfair, unjust and unreasonable discriminatory practices towards Chinese companies.
As a WTO member, China has been seriously fulfilling its legal WTO obligations, and should at the same time enjoy the rights granted by the WTO, Lu said.
Hailing the sound trade cooperation between China and the European Union, the spokesperson urged the EU to abide by WTO regulations and take substantial steps to fulfill its obligation to China's WTO Accession Protocol.
"This will help growth of China-EU trade relations," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2015)