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Playing the underdog, China asks WTO protection from overdog US

2018-12-5

CHINA has appealed to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to safeguard developing countries from what it says are coercive acts from more powerful members, in a move that comes just days before world leaders convene in Buenos Aires for the G20 summit, Caixin reports.

"The majority of [WTO] members, especially developing countries, should be able to participate in the reform process, rather than have a small group of members decide on the reforms," said Wang Shouwen, Chinese vice minister of Commerce, at a WTO press conference.


The WTO must work to uphold its Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), Mr Wang said, which is facing difficulties in appointing a new judge. The United States has blocked the reappointment of a DSB judge, leaving the bench short a member.


This decision by the US is not simply related to its disputes with China, but represents "a disagreement between the US and all the other members of the WTO," Mr Wang said.


The remarks come after the White House suggested that it might be beneficial for the organisation to eject China as a member, given that it has "misbehaved" in trade, said one White House economic adviser.

 
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