(Bloomberg) -- China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng expressed “strong concern and dissatisfaction” on Monday to the European Union’s chief trade negotiator Valdis Dombrovskis over the bloc’s anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles. 

“We hope the EU would exercise caution and to continue to keep this market free and open,” He said at a joint briefing in Beijing with Dombrovskis, an executive vice president at the European Commission who has been visiting China since Friday. He is one of the most senior Chinese officials in charge of the economy, and previously headed the economic planning agency.

The comments were made after Dombrovskis warned China earlier Monday that the EU will be more forceful in upholding fair competition and defending its interests against the world’s second largest economy. 

An open EU market “benefits European consumers, benefits green and low carbon development of Europe and benefits global climate change cooperation,” He said at the briefing. 

China also hopes the EU cancels export restrictions on high-tech goods, He said. China will establish a vice minister-level finance working group with EU. 

The EU earlier this month launched an anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles, which it said was needed to protect jobs and supply chains at home as it claims China is unfairly flooding the market with cheap vehicles. 

China didn’t signal any potential retaliatory actions yet against the EU probe. China’s Commerce Ministry has criticized that investigation as “a naked act of protectionism.”

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