BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Kyodo) — China expressed regret on Thursday over a European Union decision to launch an antidumping investigation on Chinese-made solar panels which EU manufacturers say are sold below market prices.
While expressing China's dissatisfaction with the EU decision, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said the two sides should resolve the issue through talks without taking "protectionist" measures.
"Restricting China's solar panel products will not only hurt the interests of both Chinese and European industry, it will also undermine the healthy development of the global solar and clean energy sector, China's Ministry of Commerce spokesman said.
China, the world's largest producer of power-generating solar panels, exports 80 percent of its solar panel output to Europe, totaling 21 billion euros in 2011.
The U.S. government launched a similar case against China's solar panel products in May this year.
Apparently in retaliation, China announced an antidumping probe against U.S. polysilicon, the primary material for solar panels, according to China's Xinhua news agency.
According to Chinese media, India's solar panel producers have also asked the Indian government to launch an antidumping probe on Chinese solar panel products.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting in Beijing last week to stop the EU antidumping investigation.
In terms of value, the EU antidumping probe on Chinese solar panels is the largest case of a trade dispute between the world's two trading partners.