Morocco welcomes Chinese firms to jointly develop electric vehicles in Morocco: Ambassador

Editor's Note:
China and Morocco share a long history of exchanges and a long tradition of friendship. Under the strategic guidance of the heads of the two countries, China and Morocco have established strategic partnership and bilateral relations have achieved leapfrog growth. Morocco was among the first countries in Africa and Arab world to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has yielded fruitful results in bilateral cooperation. Global Times reporter Ma Jingjing (GT) interviewed new Moroccan Ambassador to China Abdelkader El Ansari for China-Morocco economic and trade cooperation.
GT: This year marks the 66th anniversary of the establishment of China-Morocco diplomatic ties. What are your comments on China-Morocco ties over the past decades?

El Ansari: China and Morocco have century-old relations, not only decades, because we are every year celebrating the anniversary of the Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta who visited China already in the 14th century. And there is also a very famous Chinese traveler named Wang Dayuan who visited Morocco in the same century. So, our relations are very old. This year we are celebrating the 66th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, and I know that number six is very important in China, brings joy and hope. So, 66th anniversary double joy and double hope. We have very strong relations built on mutual respect, real friendship, solidarity, and reliability. The future is even more promising for our relations. I am very confident about that.

GT: Morocco is among the very first countries that signed the memorandum of understanding about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). What achievements have been made under BRI cooperation between China and Morocco?

El Ansari: We have now identified many projects that could be realized under the frame of BRI. We have selected 14 important sectors in which we will implement projects because the opportunities of cooperation and exchange are very big between our two countries. The priority projects are in fields including infrastructure, health, agriculture, industry, renewable energy and technological industry. That means the industries with very high added-value. And we are progressing now very fast in that sense.

We are happy to see that Morocco will be maybe one of the pillars of the implementation of the BRI worldwide. So, this is an important compound of our relations and we hope that in the coming few years we will have a lot of projects completed under the BRI framework.

GT: People-to-people exchange is one of the highlights of China-Morocco relations, especially since the joint building of the BRI. What's the status quo of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries?

El Ansari: The geography makes distance very big between our two countries, but this doesn't prevent that we have quite good people-to-people relations in at least three fields. During His Majesty the King Mohammed VI's visit to Beijing in May 2016, His Majesty decided to lift the visa requirement for the Chinese people to visit Morocco. Since then, we have noticed a big rise of Chinese tourists visiting Morocco. Second, we have a big presence of Moroccan students here in China. Third, we have very good cooperation in the field of culture. Morocco and China are among the few countries in the world with a millenary history. So, there are big interests from Chinese people for Moroccan culture, ancestral culture, and in Morocco, there is also a big interest as well for the Chinese culture. I am convinced that the people-to-people relations and exchanges are the best cement to our friendly relations.

GT: China is one of Morocco's main trading partners. What's your view on the China-Morocco relations in the future? And what areas can the two countries deepen cooperation and promote further development of the China-Morocco strategic partnership?

El Ansari: The potential of China-Morocco economic relations is very big. China is the first economic partner of Morocco in Asia, and its third commercial partner worldwide. In 2016, the two countries decided to establish China-Morocco strategic partnership, opening new chapter in the bilateral relations. In this strategic partnership, there is a very important part of economic relations and partnership relations in economy and trade. We hope that Chinese companies and investors will come to do business in Morocco.

Morocco has a very good geostrategic location, political stability and economic vision, and is a very good platform for developing business for the Chinese companies. Morocco has signed more than 54 free trade agreements with other countries and organizations, which allows to enter from Morocco a market of 1.4 billion consumers. We are now receiving more and more Chinese companies to invest in Morocco in many fields including car industry, renewable energies, infrastructure, textile, agriculture and mining. And now Morocco has opened a lot of very ambitious programs in many fields. Morocco will be hosting the Football World Cup in 2030 with Spain and Portugal, and this can open very big opportunities for investments and for business for the Chinese companies.

GT: Morocco is now Africa's largest car manufacturer with an annual production capacity of nearly one million vehicles. China's new-energy vehicle sector has enjoyed rapid development. What opportunities do you see between the two countries' automobile sector?

El Ansari: We are happy to receive more and more Chinese companies engaged in the field such as car industry, electronic components and tires. We are very confident and ambitious for our relations in this particular sector. The future is the electric vehicles. China is a pioneer and has a very strong industry in that respect. We hope that we will find common interests and common projects to develop these electric vehicles in Morocco with the help and partnership of Chinese companies.

There is a very big interest from Chinese companies in the big ecosystem of car industry, especially the electric car industry, to come to Morocco. We welcome Chinese companies to come to see what are the opportunities of business that are available in Morocco and to have investments in Morocco. Mohammed VI Tangiers Tech City, a Chinese-sponsored manufacturing and technology zone outside Tangiers is already hosting dozens of Chinese companies. We hope to have more Chinese companies make business in Morocco, and beyond Morocco to reach other markets.

GT: The 2024 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to be held in China this autumn. What's your expectations for the forum and how do you think China-Morocco relations can contribute to Africa's development?

El Ansari: Since the start of the FOCAC in 2000, Morocco has always been participating at a high level. We know that China also gives very big importance to relations with Africa, and especially in terms of development and solidarity. The vision of China and that of Morocco toward Africa are the same. We're committed to making the coming summit in September of the FOCAC a very big success, like what was the summit of 2018 in Beijing.

As we are enjoying very good relations, China and Morocco can work together to voice the interests of Africa. We also hope that we can develop trilateral cooperation projects between China, Morocco and our common partners in Africa in various sectors including infrastructure, trade and training. There are now many initiatives that Morocco has taken within the African continent, for example, Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, the Atlantic Initiative and an initiative to promote the access of Sahel countries to the Atlantic Ocean. We hope that China will also contribute to the implementation of these three big initiatives, because they have the same philosophy and the same objectives as the Chinese vision toward the development of Africa.

The upcoming summit will be a very good opportunity to exchange and to identify big strategic projects in which China, Africa and Morocco can work for peace and security, for economic development and for handling climate change and many challenges we are facing together.

Henan NEV Charging Volume Reaches Record High During May Day Holidays

On May 6, reporters learned from the State Grid Henan Province Electric Power Company that as residents' travel methods shift toward smart and green energy, there has been a surge in the charging volume of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in Henan Province, setting a new record for daily charging volume on the provincial expressways during the May Day holidays.

According to official data, the total charging volume on the provincial expressway network during the holidays reached 2.4581 million kilowatt-hours, with an average of 491,600 kilowatt-hours per day. This represents an 89.84% increase compared to the May Day holidays in 2023 and a 27.14% increase compared to the Qingming holidays in 2024 (on a daily average basis). The first day of the holiday marked a small peak in travel, with the daily charging volume on the provincial expressways reaching 621,700 kilowatt-hours, which is 3.8 times the usual volume.

"To ensure that NEV owners could travel without worries, we released forecasts for popular service areas, helping users to arrange their charging plans accordingly. Additionally, we meticulously formulated a highway charging travel security plan and deployed mobile energy storage vehicles in heavy-duty service areas. During peak charging times at service stations prone to queuing, we were on duty to guide the charging order and alleviate the queuing situation," said Jiao Shukun, deputy director of the Marketing Center of the State Grid Henan Electric Vehicle Company.

During the holidays, the State Grid Henan Electric Power arranged 483 maintenance and on-duty personnel, completed 563 rounds of inspection (including special inspections), inspected 416 charging stations and 1,713 charging piles, handled 472 fault repair orders, involving 446 charging stations and repaired 976 charging piles. They also provided four instances of on-site emergency charging services dispatching eight agents.

Currently, the State Grid Henan Electric Power has built 243 charging stations and 1,424 charging piles in 124 pairs of highway service areas within the province, initially forming a highway charging network layout that connects north and south and that spans from east to west. This adds further assurance for NEV owners to recharge on the road, promoting green and low-carbon development in Henan.

Economic Watch: Hainan's low-altitude economy soaring high

As a strategic industry, the low-altitude economy is emerging as a forerunner in developing new quality productive forces across China, including the southern island province of Hainan.

On April 24, a remarkable show unfolded as a drone departed from an airport in the provincial capital Haikou and embarked on a three-hour flight to transport a batch of shrimp seedlings from the province's Wenchang City to an airport in Zhuhai, located in the neighboring Guangdong Province, marking the first cross-sea public cargo transport through drone from Hainan to Zhuhai.

"This drone transport will greatly reduce transportation time and enhance the survival rate of aquatic seedlings, thereby playing a crucial role in cost reduction and efficiency improvement," said Yun Yongchao, general manager of a local marine biotechnology company in Wenchang.

He added that aquatic products were previously transported by land and ferry to Guangdong, taking about 13 hours, leading to high losses. "This cross-sea drone flight is a new model that provides us with a new transportation choice."

This cross-sea drone transportation exemplifies the advancement of new quality productive forces in Hainan, greatly improving the transportation efficiency of agricultural products between Hainan and Guangdong. It also contributes to the reduction of logistics costs and injects fresh vitality into the development of the low-altitude economy in both provinces.

As the only tropical island province in China, Hainan has over 300 days available for flights annually, which offers unique environmental advantages for developing the low-altitude economy.

In 2010, Hainan became one of the first pilot regions for low-altitude airspace management reform in the country. The province released a map for unmanned aircraft in 2023, demonstrating early and ongoing efforts to open up low-altitude airspace in the country.

According to Hu Qingqun, deputy general manager of China General Aviation Co., Ltd., as one of the first regions in the country to carry out low-altitude airspace management reform, Hainan has continuously strengthened the foundation for the development of the low-altitude economy by constructing general aviation airports throughout the province.

He noted that Hainan has established a relatively complete low-altitude management system and an efficient infrastructure service system.

In recent years, Hainan has developed its low-altitude economy according to local conditions, leading the country in low-altitude tourism, aviation sports, emergency rescue and other fields.

In 2023, Hainan ranked first in the country in terms of aerial tours and skydiving flights, with about 13,700 hours of flight time, 152,000 takeoffs and landings, and 364,800 passengers, accounting for approximately 45.9 percent, 63.2 percent and 61.1 percent of the national total, respectively, making Hainan the leading province in China's low-altitude tourism, according to official data.

"As a free trade port, Hainan enjoys more preferential policies. Key technologies such as drones and electric aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing are developing rapidly. At the same time, people's demand for convenient travel and leisure tourism is increasing, and so is the market," said Li Yan, general manager of Sanya Base of China Southern Airlines General Aviation Co., Ltd.

At present, Hainan has more than 160 locally registered general aviation companies and nearly 50 non-local general aviation companies.

Guo Yao, an official of the Hainan Provincial Development and Reform Commission, said that in the future, Hainan will harness its natural resource advantages to focus on commercial short-haul transportation, low-altitude tourism consumption, and marine economic development. This strategic focus aims to establish the province as a pilot demonstration area for the low-altitude economy and to inject new momentum into the high-quality development of the Hainan Free Trade Port.

China's economy embracing future with progress in technology innovation

The third plenary session of the 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee will be held in Beijing in July, according to a decision made at a CPC Central Committee Political Bureau meeting on April 30. The announcement of the "third plenum" immediately ignited investor enthusiasm as the Hong Kong stock market surged in the following days. The mainland's stocks closed higher on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 1.16 percent to 3,140.72 points, and Shenzhen Component Index up 2 percent at 9,779.21 points after a five-day holiday break. Investors are waiting for this big news to lead to a bull run.

More pro-growth stimulus measures are expected to come out soon. The CPC Central Committee political bureau meeting said that ultra-long special treasury bonds should be issued at an early stage and put in good use, and it is necessary to flexibly employ policy tools such as interest rate and reserve requirement ratio to increase support for the real economy, while provinces and cities facing high debt risks are urged to unwind their debt burdens. 

Specifically, the meeting asked for assessing and implementing a set of comprehensive reform measures to cut housing inventories and improve the quality of newly-added housing.   

The real estate sector has been in a lull since the outbreak of the pandemic as market demand withered. Now, the property bubble has been deflated, and it is time to rejuvenate the important industry. By all metrics, the new mandate to reduce housing inventories is definitely warranted, and it's broadly deemed supportive of the industry's healthy development. 

China overcame many domestic and external difficulties to achieve an impressive 5.2 percent GDP growth rate in 2023. The State Council, the cabinet, announced in March in its annual Government Work Report to the National People's Congress that China will aim for around 5 percent growth in 2024. That target would be more difficult to attain than in 2023, due to the much higher base effect this year than in 2023. The reckless harassment by the US to stymie China's high-tech industry will make the job even harder. 

However, Chinese policymakers won't sit idle and passively see the 5 percent growth target elude them. As proved by the past four decades, economic difficulties can only be addressed through persistent and brave reforms. It was the "third plenum" in 1978 that kicked off the historic and transformative epoch of China's reform and opening-up drive, which has led to miraculous economic achievements by the country. 

The impending "third plenum" in July will make another important mark in history, by navigating the Chinese economy's path through rough seas. 

The landscape of international economic and technology competition is undergoing critical changes. China should have no illusions that the hegemonic US government will stop its obstructive, callous gimmicks to harm Chinese enterprises and slow China's development. Washington's notorious "small courtyard, high walls" policy to "starve" Chinese companies of American technology will continue, if not accelerate and harden in the coming months.

So, pivoting the Chinese economy to a more self-reliant and sustainable path has taken on greater urgency and significance. Developing and advancing new quality productive forces in the country will be the best and most effective way to offset the ruthless US containment. Domestic tech innovation will act as the biggest variable in the contest of national strengths. 

Provided that China can achieve more indigenous tech innovation, be it high-speed digital transmission methods, high-end electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy exploration, or high-quality artificial intelligence solutions and transformative robotics, this country will surely prevail in the competition. As these cutting-edge technologies can never be bought, China must continue to invest heavily in scientific research and development. 

The new reform measures to be presented and discussed at the "third plenum" in July will have a major impact on China's economic growth for the coming five to 10 years. The political bureau meeting admitted that the Chinese economy faces many challenges, like insufficient domestic demand, and the complexity, severity and uncertainty of the external geopolitical environment. 

At the current stage, it is of great importance for the country to put more energy into resolving domestic issues, which explains the meeting's call to expedite the issuance of the ultra-long special-purpose treasury bonds in order to provide extra support for the economy. 

Last week, the capital city of Beijing ended a curb on multiple home purchases outside of the Fifth Ring Road, following the removal of restrictive housing policies in Chengdu and Suzhou intended to digest inventories. 

The prospects for restructuring and upgrading China's economy, including bolstering technology innovation, shoring up the role of free market competition, expanding opportunities for all types of businesses, allocating capital more efficiently, and improving the balance between domestic consumption and investment, are better than at any point in the past.

The political bureau meeting called for enhanced efforts to develop new quality productive forces and ramp up China's high-quality manufacturing capability as well as strategic future industries. China should actively develop venture capital and shore up patient capital in the course of fostering important technology-based emerging industries, the meeting announced, which again illustrated the creativity and audacity of China's policymaking. 

Smart agriculture shines

A technician inspects the germination status of experimental rice seeds in the three-dimensional seedling-growing greenhouse of a 5G smart farm in Haizhou district, Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province on May 8, 2024. Haizhou district has vigorously implemented science and technology to strengthen agriculture and accelerate rural revitalization. Photo: VCG

China releases new regulation to tackle unfair competition in internet industry

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on Saturday issued a temporary anti-unfair competition regulation for the internet industry, which clarifies various forms of unfair competition behaviors and provides regulatory basis to protect the rights of operators and consumers and to promote the sound development in the digital economy.

The regulation was issued to prevent and stop unfair competition in the internet industry, safeguard the market order with fair competition, encourage innovation, protect the legitimate rights and interests of operators and consumers, and promote sound and persistent development in the digital economy, said the SAMR. 

The new regulation came amid the country's master development plan of forming a unified national market and continuously improving the business environment, the top market regulator said.

Also, in line with the country's intensifying efforts to improve the business environment, an executive meeting of the State Council, China's cabinet, on Saturday also reviewed and adopted a draft regulation for fair market competition. 

The new regulation for the internet industry includes five chapters and 43 detailed rules, covering the definition of unfair competition in the internet industry, regulatory enforcement and legal liabilities clarification. It will enter force on September 1, 2024, according to the regulator.

The regulation clarifies various forms of common unfair competition behaviors such as fake information, false advertising and others to eliminate regulatory blind spots. Other forms of unfair competition in the internet industry were also listed, including traffic hijacking, malicious interference, and malicious incompatibility. 

New types of unfair competition behaviors by technical means such as reverse click farming, illegal data collection and discriminatory treatment will be also regulated. Meanwhile, the new regulation provides a regulatory basis to address potential new unfair competition issues, the market regulator said. 

Moreover, the regulation calls on platform enterprises to take more responsibility in regulating unfair competition behavior and take concrete steps for compliance. Internet operators that violate the regulation will be severely punished, according to the SAMR. 

China's relationship with the PICs will not be affected by US smears: experts

As China extended its congratulations on the election of Jeremiah Manele as the new prime minister of the Solomon Islands on Sunday, the US ramped up its efforts to sway the Pacific Island countries (PICs) against cooperation with China in an attempt to sow discord. 

Experts reached by the Global Times said that the US' purported commitments are merely lip service that lacks substance, a fact that the islanders are already keenly aware of. The relationship between China and the PICs will not be affected by such smears, they noted.

When Chinese Ambassador to Solomon Islands Cai Weiming met with Manele on Sunday, Cai congratulated him on his election and expressed China's willingness to work together with him and the new government to enhance mutual strategic trust, deepen practical cooperation, strengthen cultural exchanges and promote new achievements in the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Manele thanked China for its long-standing support and assistance, while reaffirming the Solomon Islands' commitment to the one-China principle. He expressed readiness to closely collaborate with China to elevate the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries to new heights for the benefits of both peoples.

Manele, who was former foreign minister of the Solomon Islands, was elected by lawmakers on Thursday. He pledged to continue the country's international policy and friendly relations with China. This is the first general election held in the Solomon Islands after it established diplomatic ties with China in 2019. 

Sparking alarm over the "pro-China" figure, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late Friday that Washington is offering assistance to the PICs "even if Washington alone cannot match China's growing footprint," VOA reported on Saturday.

"China covers a lot of ground in the Pacific Islands, maybe more ground than we can cover ourselves," Blinken admitted. However, he told these countries, "We're not asking you to choose, we want to give you a better choice."

"Blinken's remarks reflect the US' consistent strategy in recent years to sow discord between China and the PICs, by portraying China as attempting to expand its influence in the region, even to dominate, which is simply not the case," Chen Hong, executive director of the Asia Pacific Studies Center at East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"This is a typical case of a thief crying 'stop thief,'" Chen noted. 

The US' rhetoric of maligning China's mutual beneficial cooperation with the PICs has become increasingly harsh over recent years, which proves that China is receiving strong support and welcome from local peoples and governments, experts said. 

In contrast, the US has long been paying lip service, making empty promises to deceive the Pacific islanders. 

"In fact, the historical exploitation and plunder by Western countries, as well as the pressure from them after the independence [of the PICs], has made the countries clear about the US' tactics," Chen said. "As a result, the credibility of the US in the region has significantly declined." 

It is evident that Washington's strategy of exerting influence for its own selfish interests and hegemony is losing its effectiveness, Chen noted. 

The Solomon Islands is a prime example. Since establishing diplomatic relations with China in 2019, the US has been attempting to influence and manipulate the country, including through coercion to distance it from China. 

However, the previous government staunchly resisted this pressure, and the new government has also pledged to keep this policy continuity.

Chinese analysts expressed confidence that the relationship between China and the PICs will not be influenced by the smears of the US, while also cautioning that Washington will not stop its pace to keep exerting pressure to the countries through enticement or coercion.

China Coast Guard expels two Philippine vessels that illegally intruded in waters off China's Huangyan Dao

The China Coast Guard (CCG) announced that it has expelled two Philippine vessels that illegally intruded in waters off China's Huangyan Dao (also known as Huangyan Island) in the South China Sea on Tuesday.

According to a briefing released by CCG via its WeChat account on Tuesday morning, the two Philippine vessels expelled by CCG were identified as Philippine coast guard vessel 4410 and official ship 3004.

Gan Yu, a spokesperson for the CCG, said on Tuesday that after Philippine vessels ignoring China's repeated warning, the CCG has taken necessary measures such as following up, warning with water cannons, blocking and expelling illegal intrusions by Philippine vessels.

The on-site operation by the CCG has been reasonable, legitimate, professional, Gan said, noting that the behavior of the Philippine side infringed on the sovereignty of the Chinese side and seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations. The spokesperson urged the Philippines to immediately cease its illegal behavior.

China indisputably holds sovereignty over Huangyan Dao and its adjacent waters. The CCG has continued to conduct law enforcement activities to safeguard rights and enforce the law in China's jurisdictional waters, resolutely defending national sovereignty and maritime interests, Gan said.

According to video clips exclusively obtained by the Global Times from the CCG, Philippine official vessel 3004 was stopped by the CCG 12 nautical miles away from China's Huangyan Dao, while Philippine coast guard vessel 4410 tried to enter the lagoon on Huangyan Dao using a dangerous maneuver. The CCG was forced to use water cannons to warn the vessel, and this decisive move had an immediate effect, forcing vessel 4410 to leave the area.

A source close to the matter told the Global Times that the Philippines once again brought a large number of journalists on board with vessels for so-called "reporting" purposes. This is yet another indication that the illegal infringement by the Philippine side is a premeditated act of provocation.

Chen Xiangmiao, director of the World Navy Research Center at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times that professional control measures taken by the Chinese side are required to prevent the escalation of a possible maritime confrontation.

Since the second half of 2023, vessels from Philippine Navy, the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), under the guise of providing supplies to fishermen, have taken turns trying to forcibly intrude into the lagoon of China's Huangyan Dao, which has pushed Beijing and Manila on the brink of a repeat of the Huangyan Dao standoff in 2012.

If Philippine vessels achieve the objective of "intruding into the lagoon" on Huangyan Dao, the 2012 flashpoint will be repeated, Chen said.

The Philippines' latest provocation came after senior officials from the current Marcos administration once again denied that China and the Philippines had reached a "gentleman's agreement" on the South China Sea.

According to Chen, China's temporary special arrangement and the consensus and tacit understanding between China and the Philippines over a period of time in the past have spared the two countries the cost of frequent maritime confrontations and diplomatic rivalries and the negative spillover effects they generate, and thus provided a stable environment for Philippine fishermen's fishing activities near Huangyan Dao, representing a real "win-win" situation.

However, the Marcos administration's hardline policy, expansionist tendency and duplicity have compromised the tacit understanding between China and the Philippines and greatly weakened the foundation of mutual political trust, which is tantamount to driving history backwards, Chen noted.

Amid ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez recently claimed that he is expecting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be fully ready in its defense posture against "any threats" in the region by the end of the term of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, especially with the help of the US.

The Philippines provocation also coincide with the ongoing Balikatan, or 'shoulder-to-shoulder' drills between US and Philippines, which took place outside of the Philippines' 12 nautical miles so-called "territorial waters."

Analysts said that the Philippines' repeated provocations relating to Huangyan Dao also reflected the Marcos Jr. administration's tendency to "rely on the US for self-importance" and "leverage its strength" on the South China Sea issue.

The Philippines is using its actions on Huangyan Dao as an important point of leverage to collaborate the US "Indo-Pacific strategy" to contain China, Chen said.

However, while this behavior may win praise from Washington, the frequent and tense confrontations are a huge drain on the military, marine police and diplomatic energies of Manila, and it has no value other than a waste of economic inputs that raise the risk of unforeseen scenarios at sea, Chen said.

While the leaders of China and the Philippines have repeatedly confirmed in their meetings that "the South China Sea issue is not the entirety of China-Philippines relations," the Marcos Jr. administration has made the Huangyan Dao a priority issue in its handling of relations with China, which seriously violates the consensus between the two countries, Chen said.

If the Philippine side furthers its provocation, China has no option than to put in place upgraded control measures in order to prevent the situation from further escalation and safeguard its territorial sovereignty, Chen said.

Global auto firms expand investment in China market as cooperation is needed to boost global green transition

While US-led Western countries are taking unilateral and protectionist actions against China's booming new-energy vehicle (NEV) sector, the world's leading automakers such as BMW Group have briskly increased their investment in the China market for greater opportunities, expressing their confidence in the world's second-largest economy and consumer market.  

Chinese observers said multinationals' active investment in China's automobile industry, especially in the NEV sector, debunks the US' accusation of "overcapacity" in China's new-energy products. They said that from a global perspective, there is a shortage of production capacity in the new energy industry, blasting Washington's false "overcapacity" narrative and saying it aims to damage China's NEV industry for its own benefits.

German automaker BMW Group announced its plans to invest an additional 20 billion yuan ($3.12 billion) into its production base in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province on Friday, according to a press release.

The investment underlines China's pivotal role in BMW's transition toward intelligent connected vehicles, and shows the group's confidence for years ahead, said Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of BMW.

BMW's announcement comes amid increasingly fierce competition in China's NEV market. At the ongoing 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, also known as Auto China, international auto brands are rushing to showcase their electric models to embrace the China market and the global electrification trend.

Buick, one of the fast-growing US car brands, put up two booths to showcase its products. One of the booths, close to that of Chinese new powers in the NEV industry such as Xiaomi and IM Motors, is designed to show its NEVs, according to media reports. 

It indicated Buick's resolve to get a market share in the sector, an auto industry analyst surnamed Feng, who attended this year's Auto China, told the Global Times on Saturday.

In addition, US luxury carmaker Cadillac launched a new electric sport utility vehicle under the IQ series, whose prices and product performance are attractive.

Unlike previously, when many audience members flocked to a booth when a foreign CEO appeared, this year's Auto China is seeing Chinese local NEV brands make a splash, Feng said, noting that Chinese NEV brands' strong innovations and high-growth potential are making them stand out in international competition.

China's vehicle market got off to a good start in the first quarter of 2024, with production and sales each exceeding 6.6 million units, according to latest data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The market share of NEVs remained above 30 percent, the data showed.

US anxiety in excess

However, ignoring China's contribution to global green and low carbon transition, the US is attaching the label of "overcapacity" to China's exports of new-energy products. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claimed that the Biden administration is not taking any options off the table to respond to China's "excess industrial capacity", Reuters reported. 

"The US' unilateral move of labelling 'overcapacity' on Chinese new energy exports is politicizing normal international trade, which will do harm to global carbon neutrality and delay global green transition," Zhang Xiang, director of the Digital Automotive International Cooperation Research Center of the World Digital Economy Forum, told the Global Times on Saturday.

"The US exports 80 percent of its chips, and it is a large exporter of aircraft, automobiles, computers, soybeans and agricultural products to China. Are these 'overcapacity' according to US logic?" Zhang asked. 

Zhang said the proportion of export to production for Chinese new-energy vehicles is far lower than that of Germany, Japan and South Korea. "If these countries haven't seen overcapacity, the US shouldn't put the label on China," he said.

The so-called "overcapacity" claim is not a market-defined conclusion, but a man-made false narrative, and it is also another example of US protectionism and suppression of China's development, Yang Tao, director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

What's "excessive" is not China's capacity, but the US' anxiety, he said when briefing the media on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China.

According to a forecast by the International Energy Agency in 2023, the world's total sales volume of electric vehicles is set to reach 45 million in 2030, about 4.5 times the sales volume recorded in 2022, underscoring that global supply of new-energy products is not excessive but insufficient.

Advantages boosted by innovation

In today's world, supply and demand are both global, and the capacity of each country is determined by comparative advantages. Thus, Western countries hyping up so-called "overcapacity" in China's new energy industry will not help the development of their domestic green industries, analysts said.

Technological innovation, globally competitive industrial clusters, full-market competition and agile supply chains make the Chinese NEV industry strongly competitive in the international venue, Li Yong, a senior research fellow at the China Association of International Trade, told the Global Times.

"Compared with some countries that have failed to develop industrial chains or key technologies during the development of the NEV industry, China has achieved a globally leading position in innovations, technology application and interior design, enabling Chinese NEVs to meet the demand of international consumers," he said.

The development of NEVs has given a boost to the development of Chinese car brands globally. Public data has shown that more than 60 percent of NEVs are produced in China, Chinese NEV patents accounted for about 70 percent of global total and over 63 percent of the world's power batteries are supplied by China, which has mastered the core technologies and complete industrial chains of NEVs.

Given the leading position of Chinese NEV makers, what developed economies such as the US and the EU need to do is increase cooperation with China, Zhao Yongsheng, a research fellow of the Institute of Regional and International Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, told the Global Times on Saturday.

"We are willing to conduct cooperation with them in any mode, for example, component manufacturing, investment for facilities or car exports. The key is that they themselves should realize that China is very advanced and they should abandon their decoupling mentality," Zhao said, noting that ordinary people in the West will have to pay the price if they continue their containment of China.