China observers in Europe said that the opening of an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panel exports by Brussels is "unfortunate, destructive and not smart" while urging Beijing to react reasonably to avoid an escalation.
The experts said that they don't believe officials in Brussels "deliberately" announced the decision on Thursday to gain more bargaining power over Beijing when both sides hold a leaders' meeting in two weeks in Europe.
"In order to avoid a destructive trade war and turn Brussels' destructive move into something positive, it would be good if China responds by asking for a broader review of WTO rules when it comes to environmental goods and services," said Dennis Pamlin, founder of Sweden-based 21st Century Frontiers.
He said that the Brussels move is "not smart" as Europe claims to be a green champion.
On Thursday, the European Commission announced the opening of an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar products exports. The volume of China's photovoltaic products exports to Europe was about 21 billion euros ($26.4 billion) last year.
Giles Merritt, secretary-general of Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe, said the timing of the investigation was not set deliberately, but is rather an unfortunate coincidence as it is right before the EU-China summit.
He said that European Commission officials are playing the roles of judges and lawyers, instead of politicians, and that they don't realize how politically sensitive the move is.
"I don't think the Chinese government needs to worry too much," said Merritt, adding that Beijing can ignore the political aspect and look at it as a legal case.
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