China will forever politically belong to the group of developing countries and firmly safeguard the common interests of developing countries, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.
Wang made the remarks during a meeting with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Congratulating Okonjo-Iweala on her becoming the WTO's first African director general, Wang said that this shows the strengthening of the power of the developing countries on the international stage and that China fully supports the director general to perform her duties.
Wang said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had delivered a keynote speech at the first session of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Rome, in which he called for safeguarding the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core and working for positive results at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.
This fully reflects the great importance China attaches to the WTO's role, said the state councilor.
Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO, Wang stressed that as a firm defender of the multilateral trading system, China is willing to work together with all parties to jointly protect the WTO's authority and effectiveness, promote global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, so as to consolidate the bedrock of global trade.
Okonjo-Iweala said she was deeply inspired by the keynote speech of President Xi and offered her heartfelt congratulations on the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO.
China's accession to the WTO is of great significance and the WTO attaches great importance to China's important influence and leading role, she said.
The WTO is willing to enhance communication and coordination with China and especially expects China's continued support for the holding of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference.
Talking about "special and differential treatment," Wang said that China is the world's largest developing country because it is still faced with acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development, as well as an arduous development agenda.
He emphasized that China never shies away from its due international obligations.
When it comes to lowering the overall tariff level or actually enjoying "special and differential treatment," China has undertaken obligations far beyond its WTO commitments, he said.
China has never and will never compete with developing countries for resources, Wang said.
With an overall positioning as a developing country, he said, China will continue to shoulder responsibilities and obligations that are commensurate with its own development level and make greater contributions to common development.