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Experts: China’s opening-up more than fulfilling WTO accession commitments

Updated: Jun 28,2018 9:25 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s opening-up during the past decades has far surpassed just honoring its World Trade Organization (WTO) accession commitments, Chinese experts said.

“China has not only fulfilled its WTO entry commitments, but also pushed itself to go much further in the scope and depth of opening-up,” said Song Hong, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

After becoming a WTO member in 2001, China has comprehensively honored its tariff reduction commitments by lowering the tariff rates, upgrading its tariff catalog and improving the tariff structure, said Tu Xinquan from the University of International Business and Economics.

China has gradually established a relatively full-fledged tariff system that is in line with domestic and international economic development trends, Tu said.

The country had fulfilled all of its goods trade tariff reduction commitments by 2010, reducing the average tariff level from 15.3 percent in 2001 to 9.8 percent.

It has also lowered nontariff trade barriers, relaxed market accession and strengthened intellectual property rights protection over the past years.

A more open China will provide the world with more investment opportunities, said Niu Li, an economist with the State Information Center.

In the next five years, it is forecast that China will import $8 trillion worth of goods and attract overseas investment of $600 billion, according to Niu.

As economic globalization is an irreversible trend, China will neither slow nor stop its opening-up steps, said Liang Yanfen from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

“Standing at the historic starting point of the new era, China will strive to make new ground in pursuing opening-up on all fronts, and steer economic globalization toward a more open, inclusive, balanced and mutually beneficial direction,” Liang said.

A white paper on China and the WTO is scheduled to be issued on June 28 by the State Council Information Office.