China has criticized the European Union for imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel imports and says Europe is damaging competition.

A Commerce Ministry statement accused the EU of engaging in trade protectionism. It said Chinese steel has just a 5 percent share of the European market, meaning it should have no effect on prices.

The EU announced anti-dumping duties Friday on two types of Chinese steel used in construction and production of ships and heavy equipment that it said were sold at improperly low prices.