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China's Participation in the WTO: A Lawyer's Perspective

Singapore Year Book of International Law, Vol. 11, pp. 1-34, 2007

34 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2007  

Henry S. Gao

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Abstract

On 10 November 2001, China finally acceded to the World Trade Organization (WTO) after a marathon negotiation spanning 15 years. China's membership in the WTO raises interesting questions for both the WTO and China. For the WTO, the question is how to deal with China—a huge country of growing importance as a major global exporter and importer but is still in economic transition. For China, the question is how to implement the numerous obligations in the WTO accession package. This paper sets out by reviewing China's experience in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the WTO. It then discusses the benefits and challenges arising from China's WTO accession, in particular the challenges arising from market access commitments and rules obligations. The author is of the view that whilst the market access commitments are relatively easy to deal with, the rules obligations may have much broader implications on both China and the multilateral trading system. This is especially true for the "WTO-minus rights" provisions which are embodied in the Accession Protocol and Working Party Report of China. Finally, the author analyses the actions taken by the Chinese government since its WTO accession to implement the commitments and to deal with the challenges, and suggests some trade policy reforms.

Keywords: China, WTO, trade, antidumping, subsidy, safeguards, FTA, RTA, dispute settlement

Suggested Citation

Gao, Henry S., China's Participation in the WTO: A Lawyer's Perspective. Singapore Year Book of International Law, Vol. 11, pp. 1-34, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958877

Henry S. Gao (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.smu.edu.sg/faculty/law/henrygao.asp

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