BRUSSELS — Beijing has rebuffed a complaint by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over the EU's trade deficit against China, a day before her summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The EU bears responsibility for the trade imbalance as it's stopped businesses from exporting to China, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday, responding to von der Leyen's call on China to open up access to its market.


In addition to the legislative functions, members of the council also have executive responsibilities, such as the development of a Common Foreign and Security Policy and the coordination of broad economic policies within the Union.[91] The Presidency of the council rotates between member states, with each holding it for six months. Beginning on 1 July 2022, the position is held by the Czech Republic.[92]


Can individual countries in the EU raise complaints against China about trade deficits? So Wikipedia says that the broad economic policies are handled by the EU and so specific policies are handled by the countries themselves, but now the question is whether complaining about deficit is considered mere diplomacy or part of a broad economic policy.

1 Answer 1


Can individual countries in the EU raise complaints against China about trade deficits?

It is not illegal to run trade deficits.

While the word "complaint" is often used with a narrow legal meaning of a formal lodging of a legal dispute, in this sense, the word complaint is being used in its ordinary broad meaning of expressing a gripe with another about something.

Any country's diplomats can whine and complain about anything they want in communications with another country's diplomats.

At most, European Union diplomats might consider it rude for an E.U. member nation's diplomats to publicly gripe to China's diplomats about this, since any ultimate legal response to this gripe is the responsibility of the E.U. (since the E.U. is a customs union) and not the individual member countries. But, at most, this would be only an intra-E.U. etiquette issue.

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