'China needs to play bigger role in WTO'
By Zhu Zhe and Zhang Xiaogang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-10-30 08:45
One of the architects of China's World Trade
Organization (WTO) Agreement (find more in WTO
2001 said she believes the country must play a bigger role in international
"I'm very happy and impressed with the progress China has
made in the past five years. I think China has pursued implementation (of its
WTO commitment) reasonably well," former US Trade Representative Charlene
Barshefsky told China Daily.
"Now, China should be a manager of the WTO
instead of merely a part of it," she said.
In 1999, when the US-China WTO
agreements were concluded, China's foreign trade volume stood at US$360 billion,
a figure that will approach US$1.7 trillion this year. In 1999 China accounted
for about 4 per cent of world trade, but today that share is about 10 per
In terms of implementation, Barshefsky said China had made its
biggest strides in tariff reduction, quota reduction and elimination, and in the
drafting of related legislation and its transparency.
concerning the protection of intellectual property rights, services trade,
banking regulations and new regulations on investment should be further
addressed, she said.
Barshefsky also called for a stronger role for China
to help bring an end to the Doha round of talks, which have stalled for five
"As a member and manager of the WTO, China has responsibility in
ensuring the WTO's success. And as the single biggest country reliant on exports
to grow, China does have a very big stake in ensuring that it assists managing
the negotiating process," she said.
China could also consider either
accelerating opening in certain areas, or it could indicate that it will move
fully forward on services liberalization to help promote the Doha round, she
Barshefsky also suggested that China should play a role in attempts
to take some Arab countries into the WTO to ease the tensions in the Middle
"A very good start might be an agreement among the US, Europe,
China, Japan and perhaps Brazil and India to provide a special trade treatment
for Middle East economies that are willing to reform, and allowing goods from
these countries to enter the countries above-mentioned duty free," she
As many Chinese companies are seeking to invest in the Untied
States, Barshefsky reminded that these enterprises must look at the entire range
of US laws and make sure that they have touched all of the appropriate basses in
Washington and elsewhere to avoid problems.
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