China makes last-ditch charm offensive to avert trade war with EU

By Koen Verhelst, Stuart Lau | 06/06/2024 06:16 AM EDT

Brussels is expected to inform Chinese carmakers of new duties on electric vehicles only after Sunday’s election.

On the eve of the European election, Beijing is brandishing both carrot and stick in an attempt to stop the EU from imposing duties on electric cars made in China — duties that would be almost certain to trigger a tit-for-tat trade war.

Beijing, which has sent two ministers to tour Europe, claimed it was both “open to holding dialogues” with the European Union while at the same time reminding the bloc that any measures against EVs would represent “a real loss of money” that would damage the EU’s future prosperity.

The European Commission is expected, by the middle of next week, to inform Chinese EV makers of the duties they would face following its investigation into suspected unfair state subsidies.


Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, visiting Spain, threatened retaliatory action.