China’s First Decade Experience in the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Practice and Prospect

Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 143-180, March 2012

38 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2012

See all articles by Tong Qi

Tong Qi

Wuhan University - Institute of International Law

Date Written: March 30, 2012

Abstract

This article provides an overview of China’s engagement in trade disputes in the WTO over the past decade. In depth understanding of China’s policies and practices on the WTO dispute settlement since its accession to WTO as well as conducting objective and reasonable assessment on its performance and achievements in WTO dispute settlement is currently an issue of great importance. This paper holds that China has successfully made the transition from a member that was reluctant or even afraid to use the dispute settlement system to one that is increasingly confident and skillful in using the dispute settlement system to advance its legitimate interests. China’s increasing utilization of the dispute settlement mechanism and its role change was neither derived from adopting “aggressive legalism strategy,” nor a “more confrontational approach” to fulfill its WTO obligations. China’s “WTO litigation-accommodating” attitude and the role change in WTO litigation are mainly influenced by its own rapid development of economy and trade, and partly derived from the outside pressure of the 2008 international financial and economic Crisis.

A few salient impacts of China’s decade-long experience of WTO litigation should be highlighted. On the one hand, by permitting the WTO to determine its fate in trade disputes, China gained an external driving force to promote its internal trade governance regime reforms and gradually changes its attitude towards international dispute settlement mechanism. On the other hand, China’s exemplary representation and responsible attitude towards the enforcement of its WTO obligations, and China’s good records on the implementation of WTO rulings, has contributed greatly to the promotion and maintenance of the multilateral trade system. Nevertheless, it is unsurprising that China engaged in frequent trade disputes in its second decade of WTO membership due to its volume and rapid increase of trade. As a highly experienced and sophisticated litigant, China is not only able to challenge the domestic policies of its main trading partners and to defend its own policies, but also playing equally a more constructive role and shares leadership in the reform of WTO and the Doha Round negotiation.

Keywords: WTO dispute settlement mechanism, China’s practices, WTO laws

Suggested Citation

Qi, Tong, China’s First Decade Experience in the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Practice and Prospect (March 30, 2012). Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 143-180, March 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2117961

Tong Qi (Contact Author)

Wuhan University - Institute of International Law ( email )

Wuhan, Hubei
China

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
401
Abstract Views
1,656
Rank
138,241
PlumX Metrics