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China warns of possible 'trade war' with EU

STORY: Beijing warned Friday (June 21) it could enter a trade war with the European Union.

The comments come as tensions escalate over the EU's new tariffs on electric vehicles imports from China.

Germany's economy minister Robert Habeck arrived in Beijing Friday with the proposed tariffs high on his agenda.

He said his country's strategy on China needs to be updated to include a longer-term plan, and take account of Europe's approach.

He further argued the strategy lacks direction on how Germany sees the medium-term relationship between the two countries.

Habeck's three-day trip is the first by a senior European official since Brussels proposed the duties.

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The move led to countermeasures by China and harsh criticism from Beijing.

This week alone, Chinese automakers urged authorities to hike tariffs on imported European gasoline-powered cars.

The government also launched a dumping probe into EU pork imports.

Habeck's visit is seen as an opportunity for Germany to explain the recent tariff announcement.

It is also a chance to calm the risk of retaliation from China that could harm German businesses.

Germany's voice carries particular weight, and its leading car manufacturers have opposed the EU tariffs.

Berlin has urged dialog while also expecting China to compromise.

The country's carmakers would be the most exposed to any countermoves from China as a third of their sales came from there last year.

Chinese state media portrayed Habeck's visit as a chance to ease tensions.

The state-controlled Global Times said Germany should look for consensus.