Trade conflicts solvable, Li says

Updated: 2016-06-14 02:49

By Hu Yongqi(China Daily)

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'We can work together' to tackle problems such as steel, premier tells German leader

Trade conflicts solvable, Li says

Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on Monday. WU ZHIYI / CHINA DAILY

China and Europe should collaborate constructively to resolve trade conflicts, such as excess capacity of iron and steel products, Premier Li Keqiang told a news conference on Monday.

Li was referring to the European Union's complaints that China is selling its excess iron and steel to the region, a topic in the spotlight during the visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.

"Overcapacity of iron and steel is a global problem, not China's alone. We should separate trade conflicts between China and the EU from the bilateral trade, as the conflicts are a very small part of trade," Li said. "Chancellor Merkel and I have agreed not to expand and complicate trade conflicts," he added. "We can work together frankly toward the same direction to properly tackle conflicts and increase common interests."

Li and Merkel co-chaired a meeting of the China-Germany Economic Advisory Committee on Monday to meet with enterprises from both countries.

Last year, only 7 percent of China's production of iron and steel was exported to other countries, far lower than that of countries such as South Korea and Japan, said Chen Derong, general manager of Baosteel Group, which is based in Shanghai. He dismissed the idea that China dumped cheap goods in Europe.

"I hope the EU can loosen restrictions on Chinese iron and steel products. The EU also subsidized iron and steel companies during the crisis in the 1970s," Chen said.

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