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Speech by Mr. Long Yongtu, Chief Negotiator and Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of the People's Republic of China, at the General Council Meeting of WTO (December 19, 2001, Geneva)
2004/04/19
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure, as representative of China, to participate in current session of the General Council meeting, which is the first session since the conclusion of the Doha Ministerial meeting and marks the first time that China participates as a full-fledged WTO member.

The Fourth WTO Ministerial Meeting in Doha, Qatar made the decision to approve China's accession to WTO on November 10th.  After 15 years of effort, China now has been a member of this multilateral organization.  With the acceleration of the pace of economic globalization, it has been a strategic decision made by the Chinese leadership to join the WTO and participate fully into the multilateral trading system, fully manifesting China's determination and confidence in deepening its reform and opening to the outside world.  China's accession to the WTO will bring benefit not only to itself, but also to all WTO members and contribute to the development of the multilateral trading system.  It will certainly create far-reaching and deep impact on the economy of the world as well as of China in the new century.  As a WTO member, China will abide by WTO rules and carry out its accession commitments while enjoy its rights on the basis of a balance between rights and obligations.  China will continue to attach great importance to the strengthening of its economic and trade relationship with other countries and regions in the world on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.  China will play a positive and constructive role in the multilateral trading system, and make contributions to the development of the world economy and trade together with other WTO members.  

The Fourth WTO ministerial meeting made the decision on November 14 to launch a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.  China has been supporting the launch of the new round which we hope will take fully into account of the interests and reasonable needs of developing countries.  We believe that the objectives of the new multilateral negotiation should be, firstly, facilitate the establishment of a new international economic order which is fair, just and reasonable, secondly, promote the economic development and trade and investment facilitation worldwide, and thirdly, achieve a balance of interests between developed countries and developing countries, especially conducive to the development of developing countries.

It is of great significance for all WTO members to reach the consensus to launch a new round in Doha when the world economy and the multilateral trading system are facing severe tests.  This decision will contribute to the recovery of the world economy and promote the development of world trade.  China believes that the new round should take into consideration of the economic reality and needs of developing countries especially that of the least developed countries, and give them special consideration with regard to the extent and speed of their opening of markets.  The new round should adopt practical and efficient measures to ensure the implementation of Uruguay round agreements.  The new round should ensure full and effective participation of developing members and achieve overall balance regarding the final results of negotiation so as to reflect interests of all parties.

A broad range of negotiations will start in the new round.  However, the developing countries, especially the least developed countries are short of both understanding and experience in many areas.  The developed countries benefiting most from the economic globalization have the obligation to provide necessary support to developing members in technical assistance and capacity building.  Thus the new round will further promote economic globalization and enable developing countries to share its benefits with the developed countries.  

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,

You may rest assured that as a new member to WTO, China will participate fully in the new round of negotiations. China will make its best efforts to play positive and constructive role, and work with other WTO members in order to consolidate and improve the multilateral trading system and make its own contribution to the development of the world trade and economy.

Thank you.
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