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State Council releases white paper on China and WTO

Updated: Jun 29,2018 3:19 PM

The State Council Information Office has released a white paper on China and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The document is a summary of China’s achievements, contributions and commitments to the WTO.

The “China and the World Trade Organization” White Paper is divided into four parts. Each part focuses on an important aspect regarding China’s 17-year contribution to the WTO.

China joined the WTO as its 143rd member on Dec 11, 2001. Since then, the country has conscientiously fulfilled its WTO commitments and brought benefits not only to the country’s people, but also for the rest of the world, the White Paper said.

China has been consistently reforming in order to develop a socialist market economy and has rigorously improved its legal system.

According to the White Paper, the government modified more than 2,300 national laws and regulations to adapt to WTO commitments, while localities modified or canceled 190,000 related local laws and regulations, to improve policy transparency and ensure conformity with WTO rules.

“By 2010, China had fulfilled its tariff-cutting promises for WTO membership by cutting overall tariff levels from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent by 2010.”

China has also honored its commitments on trade-in-services, by opening up its markets and slashing investment restrictions. China has also enhanced intellectual property right protection. It has set up IPR courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and special judicial organs at 15 intermediate courts.

China is a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system and has taken concrete actions to uphold its integrity.

It has safeguarded the effective operation of the WTO dispute-settlement-mechanism and has properly handled trade disputes with other members. It has been actively participating in trade policy reviews. It has called upon the WTO to focus more on the concerns of developing member countries. China also stands firmly against unilateralism and protectionism.

China has embraced the world with open arms and has made significant contributions to the global economy since it joined the WTO.

Since 2002, China’s contribution to global economic growth has approached 30 percent on average. It’s a major trading partner of over 120 countries. The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s latest move to share its economic development with the world.

China will hold the annual International Import Expo from Nov 5 to 10 this year in Shanghai and is seeking to buy more goods from the world and boost consumption. The expo will further increase access to China’s burgeoning domestic market.

China will take measures this year to solicit more foreign investment, the White Paper said.

“The country will greatly relax market access, facilitate investment with better services and encourage foreign capital into more regions … the negative list approach to market entry, which states sectors and businesses that are off limits to foreign investment, will be expanded nationwide.”

Looking ahead, China is willing to work hand-in-hand with its trading partners to make globalization more open and inclusive, the White Paper said.