SCIO press conference on WTO's eighth trade policy review of China

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Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative

Yan Dong, director general of the Department of WTO Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce


Xing Huina, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and SCIO spokesperson


Oct. 28, 2021

Xing Huina:

Friends from the media, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). At this press conference, we will brief you on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) eighth trade policy review of China and answer your questions. Today, we are joined by Mr. Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative, as well as Mr. Yan Dong, director general of the Department of WTO Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce.

Next, I'll give the floor to Mr. Wang Shouwen.

Wang Shouwen:

Friends from the media, good morning. The WTO conducted its eighth trade policy review of China via video link on Oct. 20 and 22. At today's press conference, I'd like to brief you on the trade policy review. Welcome, and thank you for attending this press conference.  

The trade policy review is one of the WTO's three main functions, with the other two being the negotiation function and the dispute settlement mechanism. As you know, the dispute settlement mechanism is facing a crisis, and the negotiation function is faced with great difficulty. But it is good to see that the trade policy review function is continuing as normal. China attaches great importance to these three functions. The trade policy review function can ensure the transparency of WTO members' trade policies so that members can point out each other's problems to avoid misunderstandings and possible trade disputes in the future. This has played a very important role in promoting the smooth operation of the multilateral trading system.  

Since its accession to the WTO in 2001, China has attached great importance to the WTO's trade policy review. For every review, we have invested lots of effort, made meticulous preparations and taken every question other members posed to us seriously. This fully demonstrates China's commitment to the multilateral trading system and the importance China attaches to the trade policy review system.  

I myself have participated in four of the WTO's trade policy reviews of China, including this one. Most of the trade policy reviews were held in Geneva, but the review this year was conducted via video link due to the pandemic. The WTO has reviewed China's trade policy many times, from which we have summarized the following characteristics:  

First, the number of reviews China has undergone is relatively large. Since its accession to the WTO, China has gone through nine transitional reviews and eight trade policy reviews, more than any other WTO member. The United States ranks second, having received a total of nine reviews since 2001.  

Second, the number of questions other members posed to China is the most. For almost every review, the number of questions raised by other members reached a new high. This time, for example, we received 2,562 questions from 39 members, about 1.5 times as many as that of the U.S., which received more than 1,700 questions for their last review.

Third, the questions posed to China cover a wide range of areas, including trade in goods, trade in services, intellectual property rights and investment. The Chinese government attaches great importance, and in 2002, we set up an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism on trade policy review. Led by the Ministry of Commerce and involving more than 60 departments, the mechanism carefully analyzes and responds to the questions raised by other members.  

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