China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against subsidies provided by some European government to solar panel makers.
This is the latest in a long line of trade disputes pitting China against Europe and the United States.
In September, the European Union launched a probe into alleged dumping of solar panels by Chinese manufacturers. And last month, the United States said it would increase tariffs on solar cells imported from China. The United States Commerce Department said the rise was specifically designed to offset the subsidies China pays it own solar manufacturers.
In the latest move in the dispute, Shen Danyang, spokesman at Ministry of Commerce of China, said European Union subsidies constituted a violation of World Trade Organization prohibitions on import replacement subsidies, seriously affect Chinese exports, and harm China’s rightful interest as a member of World Trade Organization.
He said the Chinese government has the right and the responsibility to fight for a fair international trade environment for China’s solar industry.
The Chinese move comes after European manufacturers alleged Chinese firms were selling panels below their market value, thanks to subsidies from Chinese government.
The European Union is one of the biggest markets for Chinese solar panel exports. China exported nearly 12,000 million Euros worth of solar panels and components to the region last year. Exports are likely to grow further amid a push by the European Union for increased use of renewable energy.