Experts reject US criticism on post-WTO performance
Updated: 2006-12-14 10:50
US accusations that China is failing to live up to its World Trade
Organization (WTO) commitments have been rejected by experts in China, which has
just received an "A-plus" performance rating from WTO director-general Pascal
In response to complaints of rampant piracy, protectionism and
export subsidies, Zhao Yumin, an expert of the Commerce Ministry research
institute, said the United States had failed to thoroughly examine China's
performance, so it could not provide an objective appraisal.
issued by the US Trade Representative's Office on Monday, in the run-up to the
top-level China-US strategic economic dialogue in Beijing on Thursday, is widely
seen by Chinese experts as an attempt to pressure the Chinese government on
certain key issues.
Complaining of a lack of a forceful crackdown on
piracy, the report said, "China routinely fines copyright violators rather than
But Zhao said China had issued regulations in 2004
that stipulated prison terms of up to seven years for those convicted of selling
more than 5,000 pirated discs.
Chinese statistics show that from July to
October this year, more than 140 violators received jail terms across the
"It is true that administrative penalties remain the common
practice for dealing with copyright violators, but the government has become
tough on the issue," said Zhao.
"These efforts are impressive for a
developing country like China, when reducing poverty and addressing unemployment
remain priorities," she said.
Regarding the market opening, the US Trade
Representative Susan Schwab said certain US industries "face frustrating
barriers to doing business in China and there are worrisome signs that China's
market liberalization efforts have slowed in the last year".
Yisheng, an economics professor with the Shanghai University of Finance and
Economics, argued that every nation had the right to control industries of
significant importance to national security. "It does not break WTO rules," he
was quoted as saying in Wednesday's China Business News.
all the sectors listed in its WTO commitments five years ago and removed
barriers to foreign participation," said Zhao Yumin.
The US report also
targeted increasing Chinese exports, saying the Chinese government provided
substantial resources to support Chinese industries and increase exports.
"The Chinese government has abolished subsidies on export products as it
promised," said Zhao.
"Even in the agricultural sector, highly protected
in both developed and developing countries, China has abolished subsidies on
exports," she said.
"China has become one of the most open economic
entities in the world," said the expert.
Zhao said the Chinese
government may provide financial assistance in company research and development
and grant preferential taxation and loan policies to companies aiming to expand
"But all of the policies focus on the production phase, not
exports. It doesn't break WTO rules," said Zhao.
China marked five years
of WTO membership on December 11. Pascal Lamy, WTO director-general, and
Charlene Barshefsky, former US trade representative, both senior negotiators
during China's entry into the WTO, have praised China's fulfillment of WTO
Lamy told Xinhua in Geneva that he gave China's performance an
A-plus. Barshefsky said that China had made remarkable progress in opening its
economy since it joined the WTO.
A high-profile US delegation led by
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson arrived in Beijing Wednesday for the first
China-US strategic economic dialogue.
Among Paulson's delegation are the
US Cabinet secretaries of commerce, labor, energy and health and human services.
Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve and the US Trade
Representative Susan Schwab will also take part in the
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