China will continue its efforts to enter into the World Trade Organization (WTO), Chinese Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Wu Yi said in Beijing on April 21 during her talks with Renato Ruggiero, director-general of WTO. Wu said that although China hopes to solve this problem as soon as possible, it is prepared for new difficulties and obstacles it will face in the entry process. No matter what the outcome, she said, China will not stop but rather speed up its reform and opening drive. She noted that China’s position on entering WTO is firm and clear, and China’s entry will be not only beneficial to China but also to all members of WTO and the development of the world economy.
Wu said that China asked to join the multi-national trade system 11 years ago because the country realized at that time that the objectives of the reform and opening are to gradually change from the planned economy to a socialist market economy. China’s participation in the WTO shares the aims of reform and opening, as well as those of the socialist market economy, which was advocated by the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Wu said she is satisfied with the progress made in the recent third meeting of the Chinese working group, saying it indicates that as long as the parties concerned have a sincere desire to solve the problem, and bring that sincerity to the negotiation table, the discussions will move forward. The major negotiation parties should work harder to be flexible and down to earth, in order to make the most of the current opportunity, she said, adding that China’s efforts alone are not enough. Wu said that major members of WTO should not take China’s development potential as reality and therefore make an unrealistic evaluation of the situation. China firmly opposes economic hegemonism and hopes that major negotiating parties will raise their requirement on a legal basis and within the mechanism and scope of WTO agreements, she noted. In the meantime, she continued, they should also take into consideration China’s economic status as a developing country and its social and economic situation.
In future negotiations, China will also express its flexible position so as to push forward the process, Wu said. She also said she hopes that the problems related to the period of transfer will be discussed seriously in the future negotiations. Wu expressed her appreciation for Ruggiero’s attention to the negotiation concerning China’s entry into WTO as well as his efforts to advance it.
Ruggiero said that he and the secretariat of WTO will work unceasingly to push forward the negotiation.