Xi stresses WTO reform, opening-up

2023-09-28 09:30:04CHINA DAILY Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Accession to trade body has benefited nation's development, global economy

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, underlined on Wednesday Beijing's commitment to actively and comprehensively participate in the reform of the World Trade Organization and in making adjustments to international economic and trade rules.

China will use a higher level of opening-up to spur deep reforms and seek high-quality growth, Xi said while addressing a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the Party's core leadership.

The session's participants listened to a lecture given by Gu Xueming, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, before discussing WTO rules and reform.

Xi emphasized that China must use its application for membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement as an opportunity to tap into greater potential for imports, widening market access and boosting its attractiveness to foreign investment.

He reiterated the nation's commitment to fostering a business environment that is in keeping with market principles, the rule of law and international standards.

China's accession to the WTO in 2001 was a milestone in its opening-up, Xi said.

According to the General Administration of Customs, China has been the world's largest trader in goods for six consecutive years as of 2022, while its total goods imports and exports surged 7.7 percent year-on-year to a record 42.07 trillion yuan ($5.76 trillion) in 2022.

China has emerged from being a passive recipient of and proactive aligner with global economic and trade rules to being an important participant, Xi told the session.

He added that the decision for accession to the WTO has been fully vindicated, as accession has not only accelerated China's development but also benefited the global economy.

Xi highlighted the need, in taking part in WTO reform, to firmly uphold the authority and effectiveness of the WTO-centered multilateral trading system and actively promote the restoration of the organization's dispute settlement mechanism.

The country must always stand on the right side of history, follow the overall direction of economic globalization and champion free trade and true multilateralism, he said.

He reiterated the nation's opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, the politicization and weaponization of economic and trade issues, and actions that overstretch the concept of national security regarding these issues.

The nation will refine and add detail to its own solutions for participating in the reform of the WTO, based on the concept of building a global community of a shared future, and will resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights of developing nations including China, Xi said.

As this year marks the 45th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, he called for unremitting efforts to advance the nation's own reform, with parallel steps to open up wider to the world and deepen reform in a steady manner.

He urged proactive efforts to align with high-standard international economic and trade rules, steadily expand institutionalized opening-up in areas such as rules, regulations, management and standards, establish a higher-level open economic system, and form a new development pattern.

Xi set out targets to build China into an even stronger trading nation, including steps to upgrade trade in goods, innovate trade in services and develop digital trade, with a focus on digitalization and green development.

Meanwhile, the nation should give priority to ensuring its national economic security, he added.


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