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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Multilateral trading system dialogue

By Louise Ho (Shanghai Daily)

12:08, November 20, 2011

China should actively engage in multilateral trading system discussions as it is facing increasing challenges in global trade, said officials and scholars at a World Trade Organization forum yesterday in Shanghai.

While China's accession to the WTO since 2001 has greatly benefited its economic development, a multilateral trading system has brought the country many challenges.

China has received the most anti-dumping investigations and has become the target of international trade protectionism, said Zhao Qizheng, director of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Although China is faced with more anti-dumping lawsuits, Li Chenggang, director of Department of Treaty and Law at Ministry of Commerce, said unlike 10 years ago, China can now face multilateral trade disputes with ease.

Henry Levine, who was US Consul General in Shanghai when China joined WTO, said mistrust between the US and China is still "very real."

There are concerns in the US whether reform and opening is slowing down in China, he said, although major companies remain committed to strong relations between the two countries.

Both the US and China should work to restore the spirit that China's policy of reform and opening continues, Levine said.

Speakers at the forum on the 10th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO, also said the organization's biggest priorities are to finish the Doha round of negotiations and protect the multilateral trading system.

Reform of the WTO is imminent in a changing global economic environment, speakers also noted.

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