The European Union is currently under pressure to decide as whether to grant Market Economy Status (MES) to China, when certain provisions in its World Trade Organisation Accession Protocol lapse on 11 December 2016. Although China’s quest for market economy status is presented as a technical issue, a lack of clarity in the legal text has left the issue open to both interpretation and politicisation. As the deadline for a decision approaches, this paper analyses the political dimension of the options facing the EU, and their implications for Europe and EU-China relations.
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