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The European Commission has "cautiously showed its claws to Beijing," says Belgian daily Le Soir following its decision to impose provisional anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels, cells and wafers. The decision was made "despite opposition from several member states and threats of trade reprisals from Beijing," reports the paper.

This is an "emergency measure aimed at giving some breathing space to a sector suffering" from price dumping by Chinese firms, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, told Le Soir. However, "the Commission still hopes to find an amicable solution," the paper adds. For this reason it has adopted a "graduated response" approach. Customs duties will be set at 11.8 per cent as of June 6, and could rise to 47.6 per cent if no agreement is found within two months.

On June 5, China responded by launching an investigation of price dumping on wine imported from the EU.