ASEAN Reaffirms Support for China's WTO Accession

ASEAN Secretary-General Rodolfo C. Severino Friday reaffirmed ASEAN's support for China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will create more opportunities for ASEAN countries.

In response to a question from Xinhua, Severino said at a press conference at the end of the Eighth ASEAN Regional Forum that China's "participation in the world trade system dose not only represent a competitive challenge, but also an opportunity for ASEAN investors to take advantage of and for ASEAN products to enter Chinese market more freely."

He said the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) has from the beginning supported China's desire to join the WTO, which is in the interest of ASEAN countries.

"We agreed that ASEAN wants to get great benefit from China's entry into the WTO, otherwise ASEAN would not have to support it so emphatically," he said.

As a rising and a large trading nation, China's trade with the rest of the world would be governed by rules to which most of the international trading community would not object, he said.

He added that from the trading point of view, trade competition between ASEAN and China is not a "zero game", and some adjustment may be made by some ASEAN countries.

On the whole, China's participation in the global trading system does not just represent a competitive challenge, he said, adding that development of China's economy is something good to the ASEAN region, for it represents a larger market and a source of investment.

At the annual meeting, all participants have reached extensive agreement on regional and global issues of mutual concern, including politics, security, preventive diplomacy, economic cooperation and the enhanced role of ASEAN.

(Xinhua News Agency 07/27/2001)

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