Published: 09:43, May 15, 2024
China hits out at Yellen remarks on new energy subsidies
By Wang Qingyun

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during an open session of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC on May 10, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

China has slammed the United States for "bullying" and "trampling on market economy principles", dismissing US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's recent remarks about China's new energy sector.

In an interview with Marketplace news site published earlier this month, Yellen said the US, which is "very explicitly subsidizing investments" in strategic areas, does not want to see "massive Chinese subsidies to firms with huge overcapacity that will just drive our firms out of business".

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday in a daily briefing that the United States is playing double standards by justifying its own subsidies and exports, while accusing other countries' subsidies and exports as "unfair" and "overcapacity"

Criticizing Yellen's remarks, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday in a daily briefing that the United States is playing double standards by justifying its own subsidies and exports, while accusing other countries' subsidies and exports as "unfair" and "overcapacity".

"It's just as a US expression goes: 'Do as I say, not as I do'," Wang said.

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The US is using the "overcapacity" narrative to suppress other countries' advanced industries and practicing protectionism under the pretext of "fair competition", he said.

The spokesman reiterated that the competitive edge in China's new energy sector, such as electric vehicles, lithium batteries and photovoltaic products, is not a result of "subsidies".

Instead, the sector's rapid growth is built on ongoing technological innovation, a sound supply chain and robust market competition, Wang said.

Such rapid growth meets the needs of the global economy's green transition, and is beneficial for China, the US and the world.

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Wang went on to call the US "a big subsidizer to its industries".

"The US, by contrast, has adopted the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act in recent years to directly and indirectly offer hundreds of billions of US dollars of subsidies," he said.

Emphasizing that subsidy and protectionism cannot foster industries and companies that have a competitive edge, Wang called on the US to "abandon hypocrisy and double standards", and "stop repeating the old mistake of protectionism".

wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn