On the Road: China goes global upon joining the WTO
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and present a panoramic view of the country's great journey, the 24-episode documentary "On the Road" focuses on the great achievements and valuable experiences of people of all ethnic groups in the socialist revolution, construction and reform over the past 70 years. It also recounts touching stories and important events in the country since 1949.
The 12th episode of the series looks at how China goes global upon joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).
On December 11, 2001, China's application to join the WTO was finally accepted at the fourth ministerial conference of the organization. It took China 15 years to become the 143rd member of the WTO, marking a new phase for the country's opening-up process.
China acted quickly to honor the commitments it had made in joining the WTO. In 2002, the first year after its accession, it significantly reduced tariffs on more than 5,300 commodities. The overall tariff level was cut from 15.3 percent in 2001, to 12 percent. By 2010, China had fulfilled all of its commodity tax promises, and the overall tariff level was reduced to 9.8 percent. This was far below the average among the developing nations.
In the decade following China's WTO accession, imports swelled to 750 billion U.S. dollars on average annually. This created more than 14 million jobs in those countries that were China's trading partners. The total profits of foreign-invested enterprises in China exceeded 260 billion U.S. dollars, and were growing by 30 percent a year. Today, China, as the world's second biggest importer, is bringing positive benefits to other countries around the world.