PEKING (dpa-AFX) - China's Ministry of Commerce has sharply criticized the EU's threat of punitive tariffs on e-cars from the People's Republic and hinted at countermeasures. Beijing will closely follow the further process of the European side and resolutely take all necessary measures to protect the rights and interests of Chinese companies, a spokesperson for the ministry said on Wednesday. China is very concerned and dissatisfied with the EU's behavior, and Chinese industry is disappointed.

The EU Commission had threatened to impose high provisional penalties on e-cars from China. Whether manufacturers will actually have to pay the duties of up to 38.1 percent depends on whether another solution can be found with China. The conviction in the published announcement lacks any factual or legal basis, according to the Ministry of Trade. The EU was displaying protectionist behavior that was causing and exacerbating tensions in trade, it said.

The ministry also accused the EU of disrupting the global supply chain of the automotive industry. "The European Commission is holding up the banner of green development with one hand and waving a protectionist stick with the other," said the spokesperson. China is calling on the EU to correct its flawed practices and deal with economic tensions in trade appropriately through dialog./jon/DP/ngu