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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

China's accession to WTO worth celebrating

By Pascal Lamy  (China Daily)

13:30, December 12, 2011

GENEVA - December 11, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of an event, which profoundly changed the global economy: China's accession to the World Trade Organization.

It is difficult not to overstate the effects of this accession, certainly on China, but also on China's trading partners and on the global trading system itself. By integrating fully into the global economy, China has become the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the second largest economy in the world. This remarkable trade expansion has contributed significantly to China's growth and development and has helped lift some 500 million people out of poverty.

This is not to suggest that China's success is entirely due to WTO accession. But WTO membership helped the Chinese government to anchor the reform and opening-up initiated by former leader Deng Xiaoping by binding China into the global trading system. These reforms improved the efficiency of the Chinese economy and boosted growth.

WTO accession helped China's economic development efforts in three vital ways. The goal to become a WTO member acted as a formidable lever for the process of domestic modernization. It generated the trust of foreign investors, who have been key actors in China's take-off through massive foreign direct investment and the transfer of technology. And now China itself is becoming a significant provider of new technologies. WTO membership also underpinned Chinese export-led growth with a strong insurance policy against protectionism. This has proven crucial in the current economic crisis, which could have had a disastrous effect on China had it not been a WTO member.

While many in China point to the concessions the country had to make to join the WTO, the important thing to remember is that China first took the decision to reform its economy for its own good, and it then decided to bind these reforms within with the WTO. It was the result of a domestic choice that saw in the opening-up of the Chinese economy a way to grow, to develop, to reduce poverty and to provide Chinese citizens with a decent future.

Gains have accrued to the Chinese economy by making Chinese enterprises more competitive. To some extent, this has come about because of the technology transfer and best practices brought into the country by foreign investors. But a large part of the efficiency and productivity gains accruing to China have emerged because of the need for Chinese enterprises to improve their competitiveness. Such improvement has enabled Chinese workers to benefit with real average wages rising by 12.6 percent a year during the last decade, according to the International Labor Organization.

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Nic at 2011-12-13175.141.36.*
China has to get a foot-hold to start a one-thousand-mile journey to prosperity. So far all goes well and it"s a cause for celebration.The next step is of course to look inside and re-examine itself to see if anything goes wrong or if things could be further improved. These, I"m sure China is doing it.Black cat or white cat, the one which catches the mice is a good cat. But, don"t rest on your laurels, face the challenges ahead and like Chinese Kung Fu,use all your resources and "BEAT IT".
Liang1a at 2011-12-1298.177.138.*
The day China joined the WTO is a day of shame. It harms China"s long term interest by selling out China"s domestic economic assets and turn China into an economic colony dominated by China"s former enemies who are still encircling China and occupying China"s sovereign territories. It has also created social inequity and endangering China"s security by creating a new comprador bourgeoisie class who are bought and pid for by China"s former enemies and who will ultimately turn traitor and sell out the motherland to its enemies.
  

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