The Chinese, as is often the case, are showing that they have an uncanny knack for putting their finger exactly on the sore spot:
“Beijing on Sunday criticised the European Union’s plans to restrict imports of textile products amid heightened controversy surrounding the threat Chinese clothing exports pose to the world’s manufacturers.”
“A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, Chong Quan, said that the EU’s efforts to limit importsof some clothing products from China were rash and unfair…..It is an inaccurate assessment and an incorrect decision,? said Mr Chong of the EU’s latest move. ?It not only sends the wrong signal of trade protectionism to the European industry, but also seriously harms the rights that Chinese enterprises are allowed to enjoy in the global textile trade.?
Really I would say that the timing of this response from China is very much to the point. The EU has now to ‘interpret’ yesterday’s vote and answer. Do Europeans want more protectionism, or should we press ahead with a new and improved Doha round (including the reform of agricultural subsidies, which of course, will not be popular in France). After giving the Bush administration the runaround on currency reform over the last six months, it appears Beijing may now be about to give the EU a little more attention. The really interesting detail will be to see the response. I think this is what might give financial markets a first hint of where we are going.