Former US trade representative Charlene Barshefsky said yesterday that China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) is "extremely important" to the global community.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Barshefsky said that "it is important that China, as the most populous country in the world, be included" in the global trading body and China's admission into it will make it "truly a World Trade Organization."
"It is equally important for the strength of the global trading system that China be a member of the organization that creates rules of trade for countries around the world," she said.
The WTO ministerial meeting is to be held in Doha, Qatar, from tomorrow to November 13, at which China, a founding member of the global trading system following the World War II, is expected to be admitted into the WTO.
Describing China's entry into WTO and the successful bidding for the 2008 Olympic Games as "a very big year for China," she said that it is an indication of the very significant role that China plays on the global stage and an indication that the world wishes to embrace a more open China. Barshefsky also said that China's entry into the WTO would help promote the economic growth in surrounding nations in Asia. China's admission into the WTO now is very important as the world is " facing a simultaneous slowdown among the major trading partners economically," she said.
Concerning bilateral relations, Barshefsky said that China's entry into the WTO "provides for the first time a stable foundation" for the broader US-China relationship.
China and the United States signed a bilateral agreement on China's accession to the WTO on November 15, 1999.
The "win-win" deal, reached after 13 years of negotiations, accelerated China's entry process into the world body.
China's entry into the global system is "to be a globally important underpinning for the US-China bilateral relationship," Barshefsky said.
She said that economic growth and economic interaction "encourages not only prosperity for countries that trade together, but also encourages stability and peace." She urged the developed countries to open their markets more rapidly than the developing countries.
Barshefsky said that the developed countries should give complete market access to poorer countries.
"I do think it is an equitable and fair thing to do" though this is a politically controversial view in many developed countries, she said.
On the problem of disequilibrium and inequality in the world trade between the developed and developing nations, Barshefsky said "the entire subject will be an important aspect of global negotiation following the Doha meeting."
She said a number of studies demonstrated that the developing countries that embrace globalization grow economically at a much faster rate than those that remain isolated.
(China Daily November 8, 2001)