Sino-Japan Trade Row Will Die Down: Chief Trade Negotiator

China's chief trade negotiator Long Yongtu hinted Wednesday the trade disputes between Beijing and Japan can be resolved, but have to wait until China has acquired the WTO membership.

Last April, the Japanese government began unilaterally to impose import curbs on mushrooms, onions and rushes for tatami mats from China and China, in return, slapped punitive tariffs on Japanese-made cars, mobile phones and air conditioners.

Long believed that the trade disputes can be settled between the two countries because both sides can find a solution within the framework of the WTO when China becomes a WTO member.

China plans to join the WTO this year while some trade officials predict its accession by early 2002 at the latest.

Long added that China and Japan could have a talk over the trade disputes at an opportune moment, but did not breathe any specific time.

Days for WTO entry numbered

China is expected to achieve its 15-year-old quest to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) when the body meets in November in Qatar, the top trade negotiator said.

"The question regarding entry has been settled, and China will behave by honouring all the rules within the WTO framework," said Long.

China's chances of entering the WTO grew stronger after successful bilateral trade talks with the US and the European Union.

China has clinched deals with 37 members that asked for bilateral talks. Only Mexico remains outstanding, but the Latin American nation said earlier this summer that it supported China's bid.

Long said Chinese legal clauses that contradict or deviate from the WTO framework are being scrapped or revised, while governmental officials and the industrial community are being urged to learn global trade practices and rules.

China's entrance into the WTO will open the gate for foreign firms already covetous of the 1.3 billion-consumer potential here.

By PD Online staff member Li Heng

People's Daily Online ---