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China faces escalating trade rows, warns official

CHINA'S trade may face escalating trade disputes next year, said a senior government official today.

The remarks were made as China encountered a set of difficult cases in a meeting at the World Trade Organization in Geneva on Monday (Geneva time).

"The number and related value of trade frictions have flown to a record high this year, and may continue to rise next year," said Zhou Xiaoyan, director at the Bureau of Fair Trade for Imports and Exports under the Ministry of Commerce.

She said trade disputes have shown a chain effect by spreading to more markets and expanding to exports such as steel, shoes, toys, aluminum products and tires.

In a WTO meeting on Monday (Geneva time), China demanded that an expert panel investigate special tariffs that the United States imposed upon imports of Chinese-made tires in September. But the move was blocked by US delegates.

Meanwhile, China said it was disappointed at the WTO decision to set up an expert panel to look into the alleged Chinese restrictions on raw material exports, filed by the US, the European Union and Mexico.

They were the latest trade tussles between China and foreign countries amid a global economic slowdown.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, altogether 19 economies launched 103 cases of anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into Chinese exports in the first 11 months, a record high partly due to pressures of unemployment in many markets.

Zhou said the ministry will enhance negotiations, lobbying, legal appeals, business cooperation and political intervention to deal with rising protectionism.


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