PARIS — China sticks to multilateralism, and supports a rule-based multilateral trading system which puts the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its heart, visiting State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Jan 24.
China is in favor of the necessary reforms of the WTO, which aim to better adapt the organization to the changing times and strengthen its effectiveness, Wang said during his meeting with Philippe Etienne, diplomatic adviser to the French president.
Wang put forward four principles for future reform of the WTO. Firstly, these reforms must protect the WTO’s fundamental values and principles, and should not create obstacles to free trade.
Secondly, the principles of consultation and consensus should be upheld. China opposes forming exclusive groups, the foreign minister said.
Thirdly, these reforms should safeguard the WTO members’ differential and special treatment, Wang said, expressing the hope that the French side will treat fairly China’s status as a developing nation.
Finally, future reforms should prioritize the breaking of the stalemate in the selection of WTO trade arbitration judges, Wang said.
Wang also said China values France’s clearly-reiterated stance that France opposes unilateralism and advocates for safeguarding the multilateral trading system.
China, Wang said, is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with France and the European Union on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and to jointly promote a bigger role for the WTO in global economic governance.