China has faithfully fulfilled its WTO accession commitments, according to a white paper titled "China and the World Trade Organization (WTO)" released by the State Council Information Office Thursday.
Since China acceded to the WTO in 2001, it has made continued efforts to improve its socialist market economy system, further align its policies with multilateral trade rules in all areas, honor its commitments on opening trade in goods and services, and strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. Remarkable improvements have been made in enhancing the stability, transparency, and predictability of its opening-up policies.
China has contributed significantly to the effective operation of the multilateral trading system, according to the white paper.
The country has been improving the socialist market economy and relevant legal system by consistently reforming to develop the socialist market economy and continuously improving the legal system of socialist market economy.
"After its accession, China launched major efforts to review and revise relevant laws and regulations, involving 2,300 laws, regulations and departmental rules at central government level, and 190,000 policies and regulations at sub-central government levels, covering trade, investment, IPR protection, etc," the white paper says.
To fulfill commitments on trade in goods, the country has substantively reduced import tariffs and significantly lowered non-tariff barriers.
By 2010, China had fulfilled all of its tariff reduction commitments, reducing the average tariff level from 15.3 percent in 2001 to 9.8 percent. "By January 2005, in accordance with its commitments, China had eliminated import quotas, import licenses, specific import tendering requirements and other non-tariff measures with regard to 424 items such as automobiles, machinery and electronics products, and natural rubber. It introduced tariff rate quota administration for important bulk commodities, i.e. wheat, corn, rice, sugar, cotton, wool, wool top, and chemical fertilizers," according to the white paper.
With rapid growth and an increasing share of the market, private companies have become important actors in China's foreign trade. In 2017, foreign trade by private companies and foreign-invested enterprises accounted for 83.7 percent of the country's total trade volume, up from 57.5 percent in 2001. In 2017, Chinese private companies - China's largest exporter by category - contributed 46.6 percent of all goods and services exported.
China has also fulfilled its commitments on trade in services and on IPR protection by extensively opening up the services market, strengthening IPR protection on its own initiative and building a full-fledged legal system.
The country has also fulfilled commitments on transparency and comprehensively implemented the WTO notification obligations.
China made extensive and profound commitments on opening up when entering the WTO. Confronted with international competition, Chinese companies took the initiative to promote structural readjustment, participated in the global value chains and significantly increased their international competitiveness, says the white paper.