Crucial WTO conference does not tolerate political farce on Taiwan issue
The Chinese island of Taiwan and Lithuania staged a political farce at the crucial World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting. Authorities in the Chinese island and the small European country reportedly held “bilateral talks” on the sidelines of the WTO meeting to jointly resist economic “coercion” from the Chinese mainland, according to Western media.
As top trade officials from around the world gather in Geneva to discuss important and pressing issues such as pandemic response, agricultural reform and WTO reform, the small action of the island of Taiwan and of Lithuania is nothing but a publicity stunt to show their presence. Yet their farce that deviates from the agenda of the multilateral conference is despicable.
First and foremost, political trickery won’t fool anyone. It is clear to all that the so-called accusation of economic coercion against mainland China is a complete lie. After recklessly hurting China’s core interests by manipulating the Taiwan issue, Lithuania’s rogue government immediately leveled the charge of economic “coercion” to play the part of the victim.
After Beijing decided to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the charge d’affaires level, Lithuania, instead of learning a lesson, started asking the EU to add some pressure on China. In January, the EU launched a WTO lawsuit against China with the charge of concocted economic “coercion”.
Unsurprisingly, the breakaway Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) authority on the island of Taiwan soon joined the Lithuanian government’s ridiculous campaign. In addition, countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada have also expressed their willingness to join the WTO affair, trying to create a momentum of “joint support for Lithuania against coercion”. But the politicization of a normal trade dispute process has just exposed their sinister political agenda to contain China.
The WTO is not only a platform for multilateralism, but also plays a huge and positive role in promoting the globalization of trade and realizing common prosperity. However, this platform for resolving commercial disputes is now increasingly used by Western governments as a political tool.
As the Taiwanese and Lithuanian authorities stage their political farce at the crucial WTO meeting this week, the Taiwanese authority has also threatened to take the Chinese mainland to the WTO after the suspension of imports of groupers from the island after being detected to contain banned drugs several times since 2021.
The current difficulties facing the WTO are closely linked to the increasingly uncontrollable political interference of the United States and some of its close allies in recent years. Impacted by growing US unilateralism and hegemony, the WTO dispute settlement mechanism has come under increasing political interference, with the US government also intentionally crippling the functioning of the WTO. the WTO Appellate Body. The WTO’s international trade dispute settlement system cannot be hijacked by the United States, its allies, and become a chess piece to contain the economies of China and other economies.
The WTO should not be eroded by small political cliques led by Washington. Multilateralism is an irreversible trend, and not even the US as a superpower can hold it back, let alone its geopolitical pawn Lithuania or Taiwan’s DPP.
As WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in her opening address to the meeting, now is the time to demonstrate that multilateralism works, now is the time to demonstrate that the WTO can serve the international community.
The political tricks played by the island of Taiwan and Lithuania have little economic significance. If they continue to muddy the waters or attempt to kidnap the platform and use it as a tool to harm the Chinese mainland, they are doomed.
The author is an editor at the Global Times. [email protected]