China has criticized the European Union for requesting formal trade talks with Beijing to settle an ongoing dispute over a glut of Chinese textile imports to Europe.

A statement by China's commerce ministry Sunday says the EU's decision sends a protectionist signal to European businesses, and harms the free trade rights of Chinese enterprises.

On Friday, the EU registered its dispute with China to the World Trade Organization to demand emergency talks. WTO regulations give China 15 days to limit the growth of textile exports to Europe, or face EU-imposed quotas. Europe says Chinese efforts to slow textile exports have so far not been sufficient.

The United States has already imposed import quotas on some Chinese textiles.

The export of Chinese textiles has skyrocketed since a global quota system ended in January.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.