European lawmakers overwhelmingly voted against the European Union recognizing China as a market economy later this year, a nonbinding move that emphasizes political resistance to a further opening of the bloc’s economy to Beijing.
Beijing has taken a policy stand saying that a 2001 agreement allowing it to join the World Trade Organization means it should receive market-economy status by December 2016. Such recognition would make it harder for the bloc to protect its industries from unfair trading practices by Beijing.
European industries, however, say Beijing uses government subsidies to boost exports and undercut overseas competition. They say China’s economy is still controlled by the state, and governments must consider that when weighing up whether to award it market status.
Thursday’s resolution said that unless China fulfilled the criteria to be a market economy its exports to the EU must be treated in a “nonstandard” way. It passed with 546 votes in favor, 28 against and 77 abstentions.