China “Fulfilled” WTO Obligations
China should not assume any responsibilities outside of its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Chinese officials and WTO experts said Thursday, noting that China recognizes the concerns raised by some of its trading partners and would further open up its economy to the world.
China will take seriously questions, complaints and even criticisms raised by other WTO members, but will not accept criticism based on expectations or demands that go beyond the provisions of the WTO, because such criticism is unreasonable and unfair, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said at a press conference. press conference Thursday.
China has already fulfilled its WTO obligations and has also kept its commitments, which have been widely affirmed and recognized by several WTO directors general and most WTO members, Wang said.
The press conference was held to address media concerns over the latest WTO policy review in late October of China as a member. A number of WTO members, including the US, EU, Australia, Japan and India, have reportedly confronted China with problems of what they consider to be “unfair trade practices.” From China, market access and distortion.
âSome WTO members have expressed concerns or expectations in certain areas, which may have gone beyond WTO regulations. It is inappropriate for them to say that China has not fulfilled WTO obligations based on their expectations beyond the WTO, âWang said.
For example, in terms of intellectual property protection, there is a big difference between the provisions of the WTO intellectual property agreement and the provisions of some free trade agreements. It would be inappropriate for the WTO to require China to implement the intellectual property protection provisions of some high-level free trade agreements, Wang said.
Some WTO members have also expressed hope that China will further expand its market access, which is understandable, but Wang said, “It is unreasonable, unfair and unacceptable to accuse China of not complying with WTO rules “.
Chinese analysts have said that representatives of countries who are professional trade experts are trying to subject China to non-WTO obligations because they want to use the WTO platform to put pressure on China.
The WTO faces unprecedented challenges, with its dispute settlement function crippled in large part due to US obstruction and a troubled negotiating system.
“This is another case of the politicization of trade, and it shows that some trade experts are sidetracked by the position of their respective governments,” Huo Jianguo, former chairman of the Ministry of Commerce’s research institute, said Thursday, to the Global Times.
âIt appears that countries like the United States are expressing their anger at the Chinese system at the WTO,â Huo said. “Double standards are also shown here because some developed countries which have accused China of not respecting WTO rules outwardly ignore the WTO rules themselves.”
For example, the United States launched 301 investigations against Chinese products and imposed high tariffs later in an apparent trampling of the multilateral system announced by the WTO, Huo said.
China became a member of the WTO on December 11, 2001, and China is now the world’s largest trading country and a major trading partner of more than 120 economies.
A total of 65 representatives commented and posed a record 2,562 questions to China on video, 16% more than the seventh review three years ago, said Wang, who considers the latest review to be. a success.
China’s role as a model
One of the cornerstones of the WTO system is that developed countries like the United States must abide by WTO rules and lead by example, analysts said, noting that part of the dilemma of the The WTO is the United States’ selective position on WTO rulings. China’s attitude to WTO rulings contrasts sharply with that of the United States, which barely obeyed WTO rulings.
China has played a role model in rectifying trade policies when problems arise and obeying WTO rulings, Tu Xinquan, dean of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the Global Times, told the Global Times. Beijing University of International Affairs and Economics. Thusday.
âChina has strictly enforced the rulings on specific cases made by the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, even though such rulings are detrimental to China. As long as it is a WTO ruling, we will recognize it and apply it, âsaid Wang, the deputy minister. He noted that there had so far been no case in which the accusing party had requested retaliatory action because China had not accepted a WTO ruling.
You took as an example Australia’s complaint against Chinese wine taxes in June. China imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 218.4% on imported Australian wines in March.
The imposition of anti-dumping duties is a measure that China has rarely used. On the contrary, Australia frequently resorts to the measure against Chinese imports, Tu said. “However, at the end of the dispute, China will honor the rulings of the WTO.”
Wang said China attaches great importance to the authority and efficiency of the WTO and supports the World Trade Organization to undertake the necessary reforms and adopt an open stance on the negotiations related to subsidies. within the framework of the WTO.
Wang noted that massive agricultural subsidies from some developed countries seriously distort international agricultural trade.
An unidentified country subsidizes more than 65 percent of the value of sugar and 280 percent of the value of cotton, according to Wang. “The current WTO rules which allow these practices are very unfair.”
In the last review, 65 representatives of WTO members commented positively on China’s trade policy.
Countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan have praised China’s trade policy and support for a multilateral trading system, according to an Oct.21 Xinhua News Agency report.
In addition to recognizing and obeying WTO rulings, analysts said, China attaches importance to WTO reform and supports the return to normal operations of the Appellate Body, a essential part of the WTO dispute settlement system which disappeared due to the US blockage.
Wang said China is ready to provide greater market access to foreign companies and is now working to achieve this goal through bilateral investment agreements, as the WTO negotiations do not could not continue.
The bilateral investment treaty that was being negotiated between China and the United States as well as the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment between China and the EU were efforts in this direction.
CAI negotiations are over and the agreement needs to be ratified. China’s recent application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) also shows that China is willing to further expand its market access to foreign investors by joining such high-level investment agreements. Wang said.
Source: Global Times