China’s Attitude to Multilateralism in International Economic Law and Governance (in Chinese)
ENGLISH SCHOOL THEORY AND INTERNATIONAL HISTORY STUDIES, pp. 194-214, D. Liu, ed., Peking University Press, 2011
17 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2011
Date Written: March 3, 2011
This chapter argues that China’s attitude to multilateralism and responsibility in global economic governance is questionable or unclear. China poses a major challenge to the world economy by virtue of being a new global economic superpower. For the past decade, its position as a strong player in international trade has been remarkable. In 2010, China became the world’s second largest trader. Yet, China has been playing at best a passive role and at worst a disruptive role with respect to the global trading system.
China attempts to establish itself as a gravity center in Asia by concluding many low-quality, politically motivated bilateral free-trade agreements in the region. One wonders the extent to which China is serious about multilateralism, given China’s minimal involvement in it. China is a strong economic power with increasingly sophisticated production in the coastal regions. Since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, China has enjoyed significant economic growth. The rigorous economic regulation requirements needed to join the WTO have worked as a catalyst for Chinese political and economic reform.
Yet, China insists on keeping the status of a developing country despite its size both economically and demographically. Compared to Brazil and India, China plays a rather timid role both in the Doha round as well as in the WTO’s dispute settlement system. However, for the Doha negotiations to succeed, greater leadership from China is necessary. It is therefore argued that China should play a more prominent role in international economic institutions and governance. In this sense, China is expected to assume a responsibility commensurate with the benefits it derives from the world trading system. Why? Because with greater power and a greater voice comes greater responsibility.
Note: Downloadable document is in Chinese.
Keywords: WTO, FTAs, trade, China, global economic superpower
JEL Classification: F13, F14, F15, K33, N75, O11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation