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Chinese Ambassador H.E. Liu Hongyang's Article "China Firmly Support the Multilateral Trading System" Published on Nation

2018-12-28

    On 13 December 2018, an article titled "China Firmly Support the Multilateral Trading System" by H.E. Liu Hongyang, the Chinese Ambassador to China, was published on Nation, one of Malawi's leading newspaper. Following is the full text of the article:

    Currently, the world economy is undergoing profound changes with unilateralism and protectionism on the rise. The rule-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, which has made significant contributions to promoting international trade, economic growth and sustainable development, is severely undermined. In order to enhance the authority and efficacy of the WTO, China supports necessary reform of the WTO, so as to build an open world economy, and to pursue a community with a shared future for mankind.

    To this end, the Chinese government released China's Position Paper on WTO Reform on 23 November, putting forward three basic principles and five suggestions on the WTO reform.

    The three basic principles are as follows: First, the WTO reform shall preserve the core values of the multilateral trading system. The reform shall reinforce those fundamental rules of the multilateral trading system including non-discrimination and openness, in order to create stable and predictable environment for international trade. Second, the WTO reform shall safeguard the development interests of developing members. The reform should address the difficulties developing members encounter in their integration into economic globalization, by providing developing members with flexibility and policy space needed for their economic development, contributing to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and narrowing the North-South gap. Third, the WTO reform shall follow the practice of decision-making by consensus. The choice of reform agenda, the formulation of any work plan as well as the final outcomes shall be decided through extensive consultations, based on mutual respect and dialogues on equal footing. The process shall be inclusive and open to all members, especially the developing ones.

    The five suggestions are as follows: First, the WTO reform should uphold the primacy of the multilateral trading system. Some members are trying to introduce "new concepts" or "new terminologies" into the reform agenda, which could undermine the authority of the multilateral trading system in a disguised way. China is firmly opposed to these attempts. Second, the priority of the reform is to address the existential crisis/problems faced by the WTO. The reform should take up and resolve the issue of Appellate Body member appointment blockage as soon as possible, and rein in actions of unilateralism and protectionism with the strings of the WTO rules, and ensure the smooth functioning of all aspects of the WTO. Third, the reform should address the imbalance of trade rules and respond to the latest developments of our time. The reform should prevent abuse of trade remedy measures, especially the "surrogate country" methodology in anti-dumping investigations. Meanwhile, the reform should also keep the WTO rules relevant by including 21st century issues such as Investment Facilitation, and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Fourth, the reform should safeguard the special and differential treatment for developing members. China stands against the intention of certain members to question or take away the special and differential treatment for some developing members in the name of WTO reform. Last but not least, the reform should respect members' development models. The reform should prohibit discrimination against enterprises of certain members in investment security review and anti-trust investigations.

    Looking ahead, as Chinese President H.E. Xi Jinping said, " China's door will never be closed. It will only open still wider. China will not stop its effort to pursue higher-quality opening-up! China will not stop its effort to pursue an open world economy!" China will continue to work closely with like-minded countries including Malawi to deepen the practical cooperation in all areas, so as to bring more tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries and push the bilateral relations to a new high.

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