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China defends special treatment for developing members in WTO

Updated: Apr 5,2019 6:43 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The basic principle of special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) must be safeguarded, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on April 4.

“The principle fully reflects the inclusiveness of the multilateral trade system,” MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a news conference. “Every member has the right to choose its own foreign economic and trade policies.”

The WTO agreements contain SDT provisions, which give developing countries special rights. For example, they can pledge less concession on tariffs than developed countries in trade negotiations.

Commenting on the fact that some developing countries had agreed to waive their SDT rights in WTO negotiations, Gao said that China was the world’s largest developing country and willing to assume the obligations compatible with its own level of development and capability.

“We will join hands with other developing members in firmly safeguarding our basic rights,” he said, adding that all WTO members should respect each other and make joint efforts in advancing WTO reform along the right path of multilateralism.