China today accused India of "abusing" trade remedy measures and called for settling trade disputes through consultation.
Reacting to India's move to launch an anti-dumping investigation over photovoltaic cells and units imported from the China, Taiwan, and Malaysia, Wang Hejun, head of the Ministry of Commerce's (MOC) trade remedy and investigation bureau, said China is paying close attention to the investigation and hopes India will conduct it in a prudent manner and as per relevant rules.
He was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying that India should avoid "abusing" trade remedy measures and hoped the two countries can settle trade disputes through consultation.
Wang's comments come ahead of Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to Shanghai to take part in the BRICS trade ministers meeting to be held from August 1-2 to discuss expanding e-commerce cooperation.
Wang said adopting restrictive measures for the trade of photovoltaic products would not only harm photovoltaic sector development in India, but also dampen the sector's long-term development worldwide as well as economic and trade cooperation between China and India.
All countries should cooperate for the sustainable and healthy development of the photovoltaic sector, which is significant in fighting climate change, rather than resorting to trade remedy measures and disrupting trade orders, Wang was quoted as saying.
India's photovoltaic market has witnessed fast expansion, with its photovoltaic power generating capacity growing 3.7 times over the past three years, which has also benefited from China's photovoltaic products with reasonable prices and high quality, Wang said ahead of the BRICS meet aimed at expanding e-commerce cooperation.
E-commerce cooperation, such as in the areas of logistics and payments, is developing fast among the five countries, with many of their products gaining traction on the Chinese market, according to Zhang Shaogang, director with the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs with the MOC.
Meanwhile, economic and technological cooperation will be included in the agenda for the first time in the trade ministers meeting's history to improve the bloc's capabilities in service trade, e-commerce and other fields, the report said.
China imported products worth over USD 70.16 billion from BRICS countries in the first half of 2017, up 33.6 per cent year on year, MOC data showed.
The Xinhua report, however, did not provide details of China's exports to BRICS countries.
During her visit, Sitharaman was also expected to discuss the yawning trade deficit in India-China bilateral trade which has now crossed over USD 50 billion in little over USD 70 billion overall trade between the two countries.