Global Policy Forum

China and the WTO: Issues and Debates

Source: Financial Times

This page followed the debates and proceedings over China's bid to join the WTO. Though a country-specific event, it raised important controversies about the relationship between development and trade, the terms of integrating developing countries into the global economy, and the critical role international economic policy making bodies like the WTO have in regulating the interaction between developed and developing countries' economies.



Articles and Documents

Key Documents |2001 | 2000 | 1999

Key Documents


'We Are Not Ready for WTO' (May 25, 2000)

China Online)

China and Globalism (May 19, 2000)

China's entry to the WTO is a complicated issue concerning the rights to development and the means to do it. The Nation suggests that the operating principles of the global economic and financial system today are but potential menaces, and do not necessarily provide a sane path for prosperity and democracy.

The Right and Wrong Reasons for Opposing China's Entry into the WTO (February 21, 2000)

A well written article from Z Magazine analyzing the legitimacy of many popular arguments for protesting China's entry into the WTO.




Dismantling the House That Mao Built (December 9, 2001)

China enters the World Trade Organization on December 11, 2001. The entry will set the Chinese economy on an irreversible capitalist course, including economic liberalization, the opening of world's largest consumer market, and the phasing out of trade barriers. (Toronto Star)

China Braces for Impact of Membership in WTO (October 19, 2001)

China is preparing for membership in the WTO, which will result in a radical transformation of the Chinese economy. The struggling farmers are regarded as among those most threatened by the necessary changes associated with the membership.(New York Times)

Negotiators Give Chinese Membership Formal Go-Ahead (September 17, 2001)

The People's Republic of China has been formally accepted as the newest member of the World Trade Organization. Clearly, this will have dire implications for those many countries already adversely affected by unjust WTO policies. (AP Worldstream)



WTO Sets Date to Discuss China's Entry (November 14, 2000)

With China's announcement that it has settled its differences with Europe and completed bilateral talks with the Latin American nations, the WTO has announced that it would resume talks on China's admission. (New York Times)

China and the WTO (October 5, 2000)

China's entry into the WTO seems unlikely this year as most of the WTO members are dissatisfied with China's proposed trading regime. (The Economist)

China's Entry to WTO Unraveling (October 11, 2000)

The Chinese government seems to be slowly realizing what accession to the WTO entails – at the eleventh hour it is getting cold feet about the whole business. (International Herald Tribune)

WTO to Boost GDP, Bring Warmer Taiwan-China Ties (September 26, 2000)

After accession to the WTO, China and Taiwan's GDP will increase, as will the prospects of peace between the two countries. And it might even cure cancer! (Reuters)

China Gambles on WTO for Job Creation (September 20, 2000)

Chinese industries face mass layoffs after the country enters WTO and implements the necessary liberalization of its economy. But the government hopes for a resulting boom in the private service sector that could compensate for the jobs lost, or even create net employment. (Reuters)

China WTO Entry Pushes Reform at a Price (September 20, 2000)

With WTO accession drawing ever nearer, China faces the most far-reaching reforms in decades, says Reuters. Chinese officials say they are ready, but analysts worry how long the transitional process will take.

Impact on China Sectors after WTO Entry (September 19, 2000)

This Reuters article gives a concise overview of the economic impact of WTO accession on China's domestic markets. The future changes in each major sector are highlighted, including a short assessment of the reforms.

Senators Address China-Taiwan Trade Issue (September 7, 2000)

China is trying to have its claim for Taiwan recognized via a rider to its WTO accession document. US Senators are vehemently opposed, jeopardizing the vital China Trade Bill. (Nando Times)

Turning Point (August 25, 2000)

With its entry into the WTO, China will experience a serious restructuring of its economy, especially concerning foreign ownership of its industries. Ultimately, it will transform from an export-oriented to a consumer-led economy. (Far Eastern Economic Review)


Maverick Chinese Province Fears Opening of Trade (June 12, 2000)

Guangdong, an economic powerhouse of China, is facing a greater challenge after China's WTO deal. With its labor costs significantly higher than northern China, some predict that it will no longer be central to China's growth. Yet some Guangdongese remain optimistic.(New York Times)

For Want of Safer Glue, Chinese Shoemakers Get Sick (June 6, 2000)

International concerns are directed towards the extremely unpleasant working conditions among factories in China. As argued by a Chinese sociologist, the problem is likely to get worse as market competitions become fiercer and local governments put "bosses' interests" before "workers' welfare".(New York Times )

China Official Presents Plan to Protect Agricultural Sector from WTO Membership (May 30, 2000)

China is a prime example in demonstrating the effects of accession to the WTO. One issue to be tackled is the vulnerable Chinese agricultural industry.(China Online)

China-EU WTO Deal: A Double-Edged Sword For Chinese Firms (May 19, 2000)

After the Sino-European deal on China's accession to the WTO, the Agence France Presse assesses the gains and the losses for Chinese firms.

Annual Trade Review Promotes Minimum Standards For Workers (April 5, 2000)

An intelligent argument for continuing to have annual Congressional review of China's trading privileges. (Los Angeles Times)

The China Syndrome - or, How to Hijack a Movement (April 2, 2000))

Article from LA Labor News analyzes motivations of AFL-CIO leaders to attack China, and points out that how we interact with China and other emerging nations is crucial in determining if the world can avoid a fatal "melt down".

US Releases China Trade Pact (March 15, 2000)

After much pressure, the White House and China have agreed to release the US-China trade accord to the public. The document, signed by both nations in November, provides details of China's pledge to open its market to the US. (Los Angeles Times)

US to Release Full Text of Trade Deal with China (March 14, 2000)

After consultation with the Chinese government, the US agreed to release the full details of its trade liberalization agreement with China. (Agence France Presse)

Chinese Are Split Over WTO Entry (March 12, 2000)

Chinese officials, intellectuals and laymen have mixed feelings about the benefits and disadvantages of joining the WTO. (Washington Post Foreign Service)

WTO No Help To Chinese Workers (March 10, 2000)

An article arguing that China's entry into the WTO will lead to a greater disparity between rich and poor, booster the power of the communist party, and most significantly hurt the poorest people of China. (Baltimore Sun)

Face Up to Political Reform (March 10, 2000)

An article advocating China's entry into the WTO, from the perspective of both Chinese domestic policy reform and economic development. (Asia Week)

Open Markets Don't Lead to Democratic Development (February 29, 2000)

"The China deal is the extreme expression of the conservative, laissez-faire "Washington consensus" of the past quarter-century that holds that free markets lead to development and democracy." (Washington Post)

Private Enterprise could save China from Crippling Joblessness (February 4, 2000)

An in-depth article from Asia Week posing one potential solution to the concern over the increase in unemployment which is predicted to accompany China's entry into the WTO.

Economic Tension in Spotlight as Farmers Storm Government Office (January 20, 2000)

An article from the Washington Post discussing some of the difficulties China is experiencing adjusting to a global economy.

The Way Ahead for Asia (January 14, 2000)

A discussion on the future of globalization with respect to Asia and the outcome of the WTO protests. (Straits Times)




China in the WTO: The Debate (December, 1999)

An in-depth piece from Foreign Policy In Focus analyzing the debate over China's entry into the WTO.

If China Comes on Board, the World Will Not Be the Same (November 23, 1999)

An opinion from the Los Angeles Times forecasting the world economic order with China's entry to the WTO.

In China, WTO Deal Highlights Paradoxes (November 17, 1999)

"The contradictory impulses that are driving China, a country that at one moment seems to be hurtling ahead toward a more open future and the next seem stuck behind in narrow Communist orthodoxy and the intolerance of the past." (New York Times)

Trade Pact Promises China Lower Prices (November 16, 1999)

An article from USA Today predicting various winners and losers from China's new trade agreement with the WTO.

US and China Sign WTO Deal (November 16, 1999)

An article from the South China Morning Post on China's entry to the WTO: "the mainland's most important economic event since December 1979, when it switched from state planning and isolationism to reform and the open-door policy." Also see the related articles in China Daily.

Why Trade Will Win (November 15, 1999)

A New York Times's opinion forecasting China's open economy, analyzing its current status.

China and US Sign Landmark WTO Deal (November 15, 1999)

A New York Times article about US-China trade negotiation: "The agreement obligates China to cut tariffs an average of 23 percent and promises greater access to the relatively closed Chinese market for US banks, insurers, telecommunications firms and Hollywood film exporters."

Clinton Sends Two Top Aides to Beijing to Work on Trade Accord (November 9, 1999)

A New York Times article about negotiations over China's membership to the WTO considering the opportunity for increased access to Chinese market.

WTO: Is its Credibility in Peril? (June 2, 1999)

Article from The Hindu, India which addresses how the WTO's credibility is affected by controversies within the organization, trade disputes among member nations, the concerns of developing nations, and the US block of China's entry into the WTO.


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