Pointing to existing subsidies in Europe.
In October last year, the European Commission officially launched an anti-subsidy investigation into imports of electric vehicles from China (we reported). Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the time that “the world markets were being flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars,” which was made possible by state subsidies. In an interview with Bloomberg, the Chinese ambassador to the EU, Fu Cong, described the investigation as unfair and pointed out that China could also introduce similar measures. Cong pointed out that the EU also subsidizes its own companies. Germany, in particular, is therefore facing trouble here, as the People’s Republic is its most important trading partner and even the most important market worldwide for German car manufacturers.
EU Plans Further Measures on Economic Security
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a package on the economic security of sensitive industries and technologies is on the EU Commission’s agenda. Artificial intelligence, quantum- and biotechnologies, as well as advanced semiconductors, are to be placed under protection in the future, and foreign investments and exports are to be controlled. According to Ambassador Cong, the project is primarily directed against China, which expressed an understanding of the desire for economic security. However, the latest measures would overshoot the mark.
The EU has been trying to realign its relations with China for some time. Von der Leyen had already given the first indications of increased protection of key technologies in March last year (we reported).