EU decision is a 'political issue'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 September, 2006, 12:00am

The European Union's refusal to grant China market economy status is politically motivated, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Liu Jianchao's remarks came after European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said China had not been granted the status because it had not met the standards in four areas: state influence, bankruptcy law, accounting and reform in the financial sector.

Mr Barroso said on Saturday after the ninth China-EU Summit that the granting of market economy status would not be a political decision. 'Once China fulfils the four criteria, the EU will not wait to grant it market economy status,' he said.

But Mr Liu later argued that the decision over the status and lifting a 17-year-old arms embargo were political issues.

'China has fulfilled the undertakings required by the World Trade Organisation ... in fact China has fulfilled all the criteria to acquire market economy status,' he said.