This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s entry into the WTO. CHINA DAILY
When you look around, it’s fairly easy to spot imported products. From foods, electric devices to cars, Chinese people now have more shopping choices thanks to global trade. But this wouldn’t be possible without one organization – the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The organization is the global trade body that deals with the rules of trade between nations. By setting up the rules-based trade system, the WTO has helped solve trade disputes through dialogue and cooperation, kept international order and fueled globalization.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s entry into the WTO. On Dec 11, 2001, China formally became the WTO’s 143rd member. As Xinhua noted, it’s a landmark event in the country’s opening-up and development and the world’s multilateral trading system.
According to Long Yongtu, China’s former chief negotiator for WTO entry, joining the WTO meant China needed to follow global trade rules while opening up its market to the world. For example, the WTO promotes cutting tariffs between countries so to encourage freer international trade. The WTO entry has boosted more Chinese companies in the global market.
Since joining the WTO, China has worked hard to be in line with the organization’s rules and open its market.
According to Xinhua, China’s overall tariff level has dropped to 7.4 percent from 15.3 percent in 2001, lower than the 9.8 percent the country promised when entering the world trade body. China has also revised more than 2,300 laws and regulations covering trade and investment.
The country has not only fulfilled its WTO commitments but also benefited the rest of the world. According to China Daily, China is a major trade partner of more than 120 countries.
The country has contributed an annual average of nearly 30 percent to the growth of the world’s economy, noted Xinhua.
With China still endeavoring to open its door wider, Liu Yanhong, a research fellow at the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted its role in the world economic system is no longer just as a participant. China has been a pioneer in boosting international development such as launching the Belt and Road Initiative.
As Premier Li Keqiang remarked at the 59th annual session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization on Nov 29, China will continue to safeguard the WTO-centered multilateral trading system. The country will work with all parties to boost world economic recovery and growth.