WTO entry proved to be blessing for China, world

Updated: 2011-12-11 11:14


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BEIJING - China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), ushering in a new period for the country's opening-up drive, has yielded rich win-win results for itself and the world at large over the past decade.

China, after 16 years of tiring negotiations, became the WTO's 143rd member on December 11, 2001. Since then, China has reviewed over 2,300 domestic laws, regulations and departmental rules, fulfilled its commitments to the WTO in tariff and non-tariff areas, and further opened its service markets to the outside world.

China's entry into the WTO and its ensuing efforts in adapting to WTO rules have brought about tremendous and tangible benefits for the country and its people.

The past decade has witnessed China's trade volume in the world's total rises from 4.3 percent to 10.4 percent, which considerably contributed to China's average annual GDP growth of 11 percent during the period.

China's trade in goods surged to nearly $3 trillion in 2010 from $509.8 billion in 2001, with exports soaring by nearly five times and imports up by 4.7 times.

China, braving the backdrop of the global financial crisis, became the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer in 2009.

Rapidly ascendant exports have created numerous job opportunities and yielded incomes for rural migrant workers in small- and medium-sized export-oriented factories, particularly those in eastern China's coastal provinces.

For example, as China's garment exports in 2010 reached $130 billion, or 36.9 percent of the world's total, many Chinese young women from rural or inland China, through hard work in garment factories, have not only earned their bread and but also managed to send a considerable sum of remittances back home to support their families.

With more imports flooding into China, Chinese citizens now have a much wider choice of foreign products, from high-tech i-Phones, world-famous LV bags to daily products such as milk power and diapers for babies, which have significantly enriched their daily consumption. China's accumulative contribution to the world's GDP growth during the 2000-2009 period exceeded 20 percent.

Meanwhile, China's performance after the WTO entry has also tremendously benefited other countries.

China's imports averaged $750 billion annually during the past 10 years, creating more than 14 million jobs for its trading partners.

Over the past few years, its robust economy has noticeably helped the world weather through the global economic storms. For instance, global goods imports in 2009 decreased 12.8 percent, while China's goods imports increased 2.9 percent, making it the only country to maintain import growth among the world's largest economies.

Meantime, China has been the largest export market for the least developed countries (LDC) since 2008. For LDCs with diplomatic relations with it, China has promised to give them zero-tariff treatment for 97 percent of the tariff items of their exports to China.

However, there is no denying that with rapid increase of foreign trade, more disputes and frictions have occurred between China and its trade partners, particularly in the fields of textiles, shoes, tires, auto parts, iron and steel, and chemical products.

But these are normal phenomena in trade activities, and should be properly settled within the WTO framework in accordance with the principles of fairness, equality, and mutual benefit.

Briefly speaking, the WTO accession opened a door for China, while China has returned a big pleasant surprise to the world, and it has proved to be a real blessing for both China and the world.