China rejected a U.S. union's trade complaint over Beijing's support for clean energy industries and said Wednesday such criticism is hypocritical at a time when China is under pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The Sept. 9 complaint by the United Steelworkers said Chinese producers of wind and solar equipment receive improper subsidies in violation of Beijing's free-trade commitments. The Obama administration has 45 days to decide whether to launch an investigation that could lead to cases being filed against China before the WTO.
"The policies issued by China fit World Trade Organization rules," said Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian.
"We hope the U.S. government will reject this request and protect the good economic and trade relationship of the two sides," Yao said.
The communist government sees clean energy as both a way to reduce China's surging need for imported oil and gas and as a promising source of economic growth and jobs.
"You cannot on the one side demand that China shoulder the responsibility of energy saving and cutting emissions while on the other side you criticize China's clean energy policy. It is contradictory," Yao said.
Foreign producers of wind equipment complain they are shut out of power projects financed by China's central government. But the United States and other governments have yet to pursue a formal trade case against Beijing.
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