The United States proposed a reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in February, suggesting a slash in the number of countries that are eligible for "special and differential treatment".
China, as the second largest economy in the world and the largest developing economy, not only needs to focus on its own structural reform but also take part in crucial debates about WTO reform.
What is principles are likely to apply during the process? What is China's role during WTO reform? Zhou Hanmin, a member of the Standing Committee of China's advisory body shared his views with CGTN.
Zhou played an instrumental role in researching the WTO for policymakers before China made the final decision to join the trade body. He told CGTN Senior Correspondent Tian Wei that there are principals China should cling to in this debate.
According to Zhou, firstly if they (WTO reforms) meet the needs and wants of people in the country, we need to follow. Secondly, if they are in the framework of the principles most of the countries will say yes, we need to follow. And thirdly, if those rules and laws need to be changed, we need to have the consensus from others, and then we need to follow.
Speaking of the U.S. filed the report to the WTO, suggesting that the trade policy of the U.S. would not be decided in Geneva, but rather Washington DC., Zhou said it is a shocking decision by the current administration. They are just trying to walk away from the last international trade agreements, "We hope the U.S. is still a member of WTO. I think they need to go back to rational decisions, not by very personal and emotional thoughts." said Zhou.
Zhou also expressed the importance of China when it comes to the negotiation, stressing that "China should be one of the very important players in the negotiation. However, we need to hear voices from different groups of countries, especially those developing and also developed nations, because China is in between and try to have a rational balance between the two." Zhou believes the policymakers should defend multilateralism rather than only listening to only one nation. He stated that the WTO, as an international organization, needs different voices to make it effective.
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