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Minister: Five Positive Changes for China's Opening to Outside World (11/13/02)

Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Shi Guangsheng said at a press conference in Beijing on Nov. 13 that following China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), there had been five "positive changes" for the country's opening-up policy.

The minister said that China's opening-up has witnessed the change from a limited opening-up in limited regions and fields to an all-round, multi-level and much broader opening-up, as well as from a policy-guided opening-up in an experimental manner to a system-guaranteed opening-up under a legal framework.

Meanwhile, China's market opening process has changed from a single-sided self-opening to a two-way opening between China and other WTO members, and China has now been able to take an active part in the setting of international economic and trade rules instead of having to accept these rules in a passive manner, Shi added.

The last change is that China can now adjust its economic and trade relations with other nations through both bilateral and multilateral discussion mechanisms, while in the past it could only rely on the bilateral mechanism for smoothing out disputes, said Shi.

"All these changes will exert a comprehensive and far-reaching impact on our country, provide new opportunities for the development of China's foreign trade and economic cooperation, and help blaze a new trail for China's participation in the economic globalization," said Shi.

China formally became a member of the WTO on December 11 last year. Shi said that in the past year the Chinese government comprehensively fulfilled its commitments with an "earnest and responsible" attitude.

China has sharply lowered its tariff level and removed various non-tariff barriers, and has also abolished or revised as many as some 2,300 laws and regulations related to foreign trade and economic cooperation to meet the WTO standards, he added.

"Generally speaking, the entry into the WTO has and is continuing to have a positive effect on China's economic development," said the minister. "We have achieved a smooth beginning."

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