EU warns on China influence, offers opening on solar dispute
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission warned on Monday against undue Chinese influence as Germany led growing opposition among EU member states to a planned punitive levy on imports of solar panels from China.
Brussels said visiting Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan had asked to see EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, just days before the expected June 5 announcement of the solar anti-dumping tariff.
Mr De Gucht spokesman John Clancy stressed that at what were strictly informal talks, the commissioner "expressed clearly that he was ready to negotiate a solution on the solar panels case."
But Mr De Gucht also made it "very clear ... that he was aware of the pressure being exerted by China on a number of EU member states," Mr Clancy said.