China is trying to take over the world’s renewable-energy market, just as it has other industries.
And the country is resorting to protectionism to do so, The New York Times reported.
Just as Japan and South Korea shut out U.S. automakers years ago to boost their own auto industry, China seeks to keep foreigners at bay from its clean energy industry to insure its future.
In the solar energy field, China has created the world’s largest solar-panel manufacturing industry by sending more than 95 percent of its production to the United States and Europe.
And how’s this for protectionism: When China authorized its first solar plant earlier this year, it stipulated that at least 80 percent of the equipment had to be made in China.
“The Chinese government won’t consider such a big solar industry without considering the building up of the domestic industry,” Lu Hong, a renewable-energy official at the Energy Foundation in Beijing, told The New York Times.
The foundation is a sustainable-energy advocacy group.
While wind and solar energy are more expensive than coal, Lu said China wants to invest in them big-time, because that will boost China’s economy. China’s approach also will help fight global warming, she said.
China’s discriminatory trade policy isn’t limited to clean energy.
"Our question is, 'Is protectionism on the rise?' Yes, we see that on the rise," Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce, told reporters in Beijing.
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