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China urged to take the lead in global trade
By Dai Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-25 02:40

European Union Trade Comm-issioner Peter Mandelson urged China to demonstrate leadership and responsibility to the rest of the world in its rise as a major power within the global trade community, in particular, in the Doha Round of talks.

"I am looking to China, as the greatest, most powerful and most rapidly advancing developing economy, to show leadership in the run-up to our ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December this year," Mandelson said during his first visit to China in his current role.

He said he would be engaging in detailed discussions with Chinese negotiators in the months ahead.

The Doha Round of talks suffered a severe setback when a ministerial meeting in Cancun in September 2003 collapsed in acrimony, but a new framework for negotiations was agreed upon last August. Trade ministers will meet in China's Hong Kong in December as a next step.

The trade chief also called for China to move to make it easier for Europe to lift its arms embargo and defy the US opposition.

"We in Europe are preparing to move forward to lift the arms embargo," he said in a speech to students at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics.

Mandelson said China could adopt a cautious approach to the new global trading environment, highlighting textiles as an example following the lifting of quotas on January 1 this year.

"I have been encouraged by the readiness of China to consider introducing measures which may help to inhibit a dramatic surge of exports which could destabilize the new conditions under which world trade in textile products takes place," he said.

But he added that it is important for China to measure the impact its success has on the rest of the world.

The EU has favoured holding discussions with Beijing on the textile trade sector.

"I think that some moderation and caution in the rate of growth of Chinese exports - pacing it over time - will help to ensure a harmonious adjustment to the new global trading environment," Mandelson said.

The new EU trade chief is set to meet Vice-Premier Wu Yi today.

He talked to Commerce Minister Bo Xilai yesterday evening.

The EU has become China's largest trading partner, with trade exceeding US$150 billion last year.

(China Daily 02/25/2005 page2)

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