China, emerging countries won’t sacrifice their interests for sake of WTO reform

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/28 22:28:40

mazda 3 fog light crack The US, Japan and EU have agreed to co-sponsor a proposal that would bring changes to the WTO, Reuters has reported, and EU trade officials will travel to Beijing next month for talks with their Chinese counterparts on ideas for these WTO reforms.

China is always supportive of WTO reforms, and it hopes countries can jointly restrain the rise of unilateralism within the multilateral trading system represented by the WTO. Reforms in the organization need to address the concerns of most members, especially emerging economies, which have a larger total population than developed countries.

The rapid growth of emerging economies has led to a shift in economic power: IMF data show emerging markets surpassed developed countries to account for more than half of world GDP on the basis of purchasing power in 2013. As their domestic markets and imports grow, emerging economies are gaining more say in international trade and economic negotiations.

There's no debate that China is a developing country that shares other emerging economies' unanimous interest in development goals. No matter whether the US, Japan and EU have reached some consensus or what that consensus involves, WTO reforms cannot ignore China, which is the world's largest trading country.

According to the Japan Times, the changes proposed by the US, Japan and EU concern the notification system for domestic industrial subsidies, because "some WTO members such as China have failed to comply with a notification system."

China supports the work of the WTO, but it is unlikely to accept any deal that damages the interests of the Chinese economy and other developing countries.

China, like other emerging countries, follows a primary strategy of promoting economic and social development. The growing spending power of consumers in developing countries injects vitality into the global market and offers opportunities for developed economies. There is no doubt that developing and developed countries have common interests in promoting economic globalization.

China has repeatedly said that it will continue opening up its economy to the world. However, the country is unlikely to allow the WTO to be used as a tool to put the "America First" doctrine forward. The majority of WTO members are developing countries, and each has a right to express its own ideas on WTO reform.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. [email protected]

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