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China faces battle over market economy status Patrick BAERT Beijing (AFP) - China's battle for recognition as a market economy that would help it avoid penalties from key trade partners has been thwarted, as a key clause in Beijing's deal to join the WTO expires Sunday. As China marks the 15th anniversary of its accession to the WTO, the United States, European Union and Japan are maintaining tough rules that protect them from cheap Chinese products flooding their markets. An outraged Beijing said the failure of its major trade partners to grant China market economy status on December 11 as promised was an example of "covert protectionism" and "double standard" by the West. Beijing highly covets market economy status, which would make it more difficult for other countries to launch anti-dumping cases against it. Dumping is when a country prices its exports below what it would charge for the same product in its home market. When China joined the WTO on December 11, 2001 it was written into the terms of the deal that member states could treat it as a non-market economy, allowing them to impose heavy anti-dumping duties on the basis that its low prices did not reflect market reality.
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