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China attributes its electric vehicle advantage to a focus on continual innovation rather than subsidies.

China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao recently emphasized that the rapid growth of the country’s electric vehicle (EV) industry is primarily driven by innovation and not subsidies. He dismissed claims of “overcapacity” made by the U.S. and Europe, attributing China’s EV success to continual innovations, a well-established supply chain system, and intense market competition.

During a roundtable discussion in Paris, Wang interacted with representatives from over 10 Chinese companies, including renowned EV manufacturers such as Geely and BYD, along with prominent EV battery producer CATL. The discussion focused on various topics including the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation on Chinese EV imports.

Wang highlighted the significant role played by the Chinese EV industry in global efforts towards climate change and green transformation. He reassured that the Chinese government would safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of its domestic firms, amidst increasing scrutiny from the EU regarding state subsidies on imported battery EVs from China.

In a separate statement, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen raised concerns about the inflated presence of low-priced electric vehicles in the global market, which she attributed to substantial state subsidies. This observation was echoed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who expressed apprehensions about the impact of Chinese industrial overcapacity on the U.S. economy.

Yellen, who was in China for bilateral economic discussions, highlighted the need for addressing macroeconomic imbalances, particularly related to overcapacity issues. She advocated for fair play that would benefit American workers and businesses, emphasizing the importance of policies that discourage overcapacity for the benefit of both American and global economies.

The statements from key officials underline the evolving dynamics in the international EV market and the growing importance of sustainable practices in the automotive industry. As China continues to lead in EV innovations and technological advancements, the global community is closely monitoring the developments to ensure a level playing field and a sustainable future for the electric vehicle sector.

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