Beijing's envoy to US warns against cutting China out of EV chain

Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang (left) and General Motors President Mark Reuss during a media day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on Sept 14, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

DETROIT - China's ambassador to the United States has warned against the potential risks of trying to cut off China, using a visit to the Detroit auto show to highlight the "intertwined" interests of the world's two biggest economies.

"To decouple with China means to disconnect from the world's largest market, as well as the biggest opportunity," Mr Qin Gang said Wednesday.

The interests of both nations are "intertwined", he said, pointing out that General Motors' latest models are "designed, developed, produced and to be sold" in China, while more China-built cars are being exported to the rest of the world.

Trade and political tensions between China and the US will "for sure" impact industry collaboration in the short term, Mr Qin said. "But the industry chain has been relatively well established over past years, and there would be no winner if anybody wanted to intervene or even destroy" that, he added.

US President Joe Biden, who attended the show earlier in the day, attributed the electric transformation sweeping the US auto market to American innovation.

"It used to be that to buy an electric car you had to make all sorts of compromises," Mr Biden said after touring the show. "Thanks to American ingenuity, American engineers, American auto workers, it's all changing."

Mr Qin, however, stressed the importance of global coordination.

"The electric vehicle value chain, or specifically the supply chain, is very globalised," he said, adding all players will continue to "work in accordance with economic laws".

China and the US are sparring on several trade fronts.

The Biden administration earlier this month said it would allow Trump-era tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports to continue while it reviews the need for the duties.

The US has also placed export curbs on advanced computer chips to China and is seeking to reduce reliance on Chinese materials in the EV supply chain, particularly batteries. BLOOMBERG

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