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China protests EU’s investigation of subsidies in green industries, calling the move protectionist

BEIJING (AP) — China has accused the European Union of protectionism and “reckless distortion” of the definition of subsidies in response to a new EU investigation into Chinese wind turbine makers.

A Chinese trade remedies official made “solemn representations” on the issue in a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday with Martin Lukas, the EU director general for trade defense, the Commerce Ministry said.

“The European side’s reckless distortion of the definition of subsidies, and the lack of openness and transparency in procedural standards during the investigation, is a protectionist act that harms the fair competition environment in the name of fair competition,” the statement said.

The investigation opened by the European Union on Tuesday is the latest against Chinese companies announced in the past two months under a new EU regulation.

The investigation will look into whether Chinese subsidies are giving wind turbine companies an unfair advantage in the competition for projects in five member countries: Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria.

“We’re making full use of the tools that we have,” the EU commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said in announcing the move.

A Chinese business group in Europe described the investigations as “an act of economic coercion” that undermines the EU’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This action sends a detrimental signal to the world, suggesting discrimination against Chinese enterprises and endorsing protectionism,” the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU said in a statement.

The EU also announced investigations last week into two Chinese solar panel makers bidding for a 455-megawatt solar park in Romania. An earlier EU probe into the procurement of 20