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WTO official: China acts as firm advocate of multilateral trade system

Updated: Nov 19,2018 1:14 PM     Xinhua

GENEVA — China has acted as a “firm advocate” of the multilateral trade system since its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and it is “extremely important” to have China as a member of the rules-based system, WTO spokesperson Keith Rockwell said.

In a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua, the spokesman recalled the moment of China’s accession to the WTO 17 years ago, saying its entry was an “important catalyst for the Chinese economy and for the organization.”

“China is the world biggest trader. To have the largest trader in the world outside of the WTO is very hard to envisage,” said Rockwell.

“We cannot have an agreement here in the WTO without China’s support,” said Rockwell, stressing China’s full commitment to embracing the rules-based system.

Citing the expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA) as an example, the WTO official said China took a very important role in “bringing this agreement about.”

The expansion of the ITA ultimately tends to remove tariffs on IT products such as printers, cartridges, video cameras, DVDs, and medical care products, and enable all WTO members to enjoy duty-free market access.

Moreover, Rockwell noted that China’s contributions to the global economy should not be neglected and forgotten.

While the global economy was plunged into a great recession 10 years ago and western countries contracted economically, China kept open its market and many goods were thus transferred to China, he recalled.

“Had China not been part of the WTO, had that market not stayed open, the impact of the great recession would have been dramatically worse in my view,” Rockwell said.

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