China and the WTO: Changing China, Changing World Trade

Essay by brooklynhui888 November 2004

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Incoming World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi has the background, timing, and credentials to make strong statements on the historic accession of China to the WTO and the shape of the global trade body. His co-author, a respected Hong Kong-based journalist with BusinessWeek, adds a dash of critical insight on how trade relates to development, human rights, and antiglobalization groups. The result is a compelling and forceful case for giving China the benefit of the doubt during its early phases of WTO implementation.

In China and the WTO, Supachai and Clifford offer optimistic views about the prospects for China's reform, Asian cooperation, and WTO-related growth in developing countries. The book makes a sustained and focused case that China must succeed as a new WTO member and a future participant in the next round of global trade talks. The authors also direct attention to the rise of China, primarily as it influences Asia and the WTO.

In addition, the book speaks to issues concerning the "world split between those who benefit from the increasing wealth and openness of globalization and those who don't. The authors' views are that China's entry will lessen environmental, social, political, and security tensions around the world-rather than increase them.

Although it went to press before the release of the final accession package for China, this book serves as a primer on the US and EU bilateral market-access agreements that together encompass the bulk of China's WTO entry terms. The themes of the book stress the principles and broad commitments made by China, and on these particulars, the book is vital for anyone trying to understand the significance of the problems and prospects facing the PRC. The authors make an important contribution to the debate that will arise from the process of integrating China into...