China’s ambassador to the EU labeled the bloc’s probe into its electric vehicle subsidies as “unjustified and regrettable” and warned against any future trade measures that would penalize its clean-tech industry.

Fu Cong’s comments mark one of the strongest rebuttals yet by Beijing against the EU’s proactive approach to protecting its emerging green energy sector. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, pledged during the week of October 23 to do more to protect its embattled wind sector in a move to counter China’s growing manufacturing influence.

“It needs to be pointed out that the global momentum in the global green and low-carbon transition has not come easily,” Cong said at an event in Brussels. “Therefore, unilateral protectionist measures must be avoided and attempts to decouple that threaten global supply chains must be rejected so as to not jeopardize global cooperation on climate change.”

The remarks also mark a shift from a more constructive tone from Chinese officials after the EU announced a probe into China’s electric vehicle subsidies in September. Cong warned the EU not to start similar probes on its solar and wind sectors.

Read more: EU Formally Opens Subsidies Probe into EVs Made in China

Fresh evidence of the difficulties facing the EU’s wind sector came during the week of October 23 with Germany’s Siemens Energy AG seeking a €16 billion ($17 billion) backstop from the government amid problems with its turbines.

It comes just weeks ahead of the COP28 climate summit where countries are set to take stock of where the world is in keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The EU is spearheading efforts to phase out fossil fuels and triple renewable energy capacity this decade — a goal that China will be crucial in meeting.

The United Nations-convened summit in Dubai comes against a challenging backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war. Countries have already clashed on the objectives of the summit — including the setting up of a facility to fund the losses and damages caused by climate change.

“We need to pursue mutual benefits and resist protectionism,” Cong said. “In doing so we will be able to inject more positive energy and more certainty into the global fight against climate change.”