|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|CPC and State Organs|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Tuesday, July 10, 2001, updated at 22:22(GMT+8)|
Consensus Reached: WTO Entry is Now Matter of DateWith a full consensus having been reached on major remaining issues concerning China's World Trade Organization (WTO) entry, the key problem has become when the country will enter the trade body's door as its 142nd member - early next year, or by the end of this year?
A timetable released by the WTO Working Party on the Access of China indicates China's formal membership could be realized very early next year.
But Chinese trade experts believe that China could enter the trade club by the end of this year.
According to the timetable, all documents and protocols concerning China's entry are expected to be completed in September. The 141 WTO members will then vote on the country's accession at a ministerial meeting in Qatar's Doha in November.
After China wins the endorsement, entry still has to wait ratification by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's legislature.
The committee commonly convenes in even months, which in this case means December. Therefore, the working party has concluded that "early next year" might be the time that China is granted membership, because the endorsement takes effect 30 days after NPC approval.
However, Zhang Hanlin, deputy-director of the WTO Research Centre under the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC), disagrees, saying the NPC may pass China's WTO entry very quickly, so that the country can be formally admitted to the body before the end of this year.
"In a word, the standing committee can approve access one day after the vote in Doha," Zhang claimed.
Ren Yifeng, secretary-general of the China Society of WTO Research, agrees with him, hinting that the NPC may pass the entry before December by putting it before a special meeting of the standing committee.
Zhang revealed that the NPC has long been studying and reviewing documents and various conditions concerning China's WTO entry, so the ratification should not take long.
The next round of talks is scheduled for the week of July 16, and members of the working group will meet again in mid-September hoping to finalize a consolidated package of accession documents and then to recommend it to ministers for endorsement in Doha.
There remain certain hurdles for China's accession.
The mass of paperwork indicates it may be difficult for the working party to finish its work before September. WTO Director-General Mike Moore urged member governments last Wednesday to make every effort to conclude their negotiations as quickly as possible.
China has yet to reach a bilateral agreement with Mexico, but the country has said that it would not block China's entry.
Other remaining issues include the European Union (EU) and the United States having not harmonized the deals they reached with China respectively regarding Chinese ownership of EU and US insurance branches in China.
But Zhang said those issues are comparatively minor and will be resolved under the case-by-case principle.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||