China to Tighten Trade Laws, Official Says

China is tightening its trade laws to protect its domestic market after it enters the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wei Jianguo, assistant minister of the foreign trade and economic cooperation (MOFTEC).

"We will use legal weapons to strike against irregular competition in the Chinese market by foreign manufacturers and exporters," Wei said.

Wei made the remarks at the Seminar on Foreign Trade Law Reforms in Compliance to WTO, which was jointly sponsored by MOFTEC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It began on Monday and ends on Wednesday.

MOFTEC will draft regulations on goods imported and exported, and it has submitted an amendment to an anti-dumping regulation to the State Council.

The tweaked rule is expected to replace the 1997 version later this year or early next year - before China's formal accession to the WTO.

According to a report issued in May, MOFTEC planned to abolish 573 of 1,413 established regulations and revise 120 others to make them comply with WTO rules.

Shang Ming, deputy director of MOFTEC's Legal Department, said at the seminar that the new regulation on goods imported and exported would provide a more standard and transparent base for the government to administer trade after its WTO entry.

The 1997 regulation that combined anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures will be replaced by three separate regulations covering anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and other trade safeguard measures.

"China's market will be fully opened when it enters the WTO, meaning anti-dumping laws will be the most powerful weapons to protect itself," J. Bellis, a partner in the Brussels-based law firm Van Bael & Bellis, told China Daily.

Since June, the ADB has financed US$700,000 to support Chinese government officials and lawyers in their study of WTO rules.

As part of the seminar, scholars and lawyers from the European Union and the United States' trade law departments were invited to share their knowledge.

Meeting venue unchanged

According to a Xinhua report, WTO Director-General Mike Moore made a statement yesterday in Doha, Qatar, that the venue of the WTO's Fourth Ministerial Meeting will not be changed, a WTO official in headquarter confirmed in Geneva.

The official said that the announcement ended the uncertainty about the venue and time for the forthcoming ministerial meeting, which is scheduled for November 9 to 13 in Doha, the capital.

Since the US-led forces started military strikes against Afghanistan, many countries expressed their concerns over the safety of having such an important WTO meeting in a Gulf state.

The WTO official said Moore went to Doha last weekend and held emergency talks with the Qatari Government on the preparation for the forthcoming WTO meeting.

(China Daily October 23, 2001)

In This Series

China Opposes Anti-dumping Abuse: MOFTEC Official

Probe on Anti-Dumping to Begin

MOFTEC Investigates Dumping Case

MOFTEC to Hold Hearing on Anti-Dumping Case

Chinese Firm Wins Anti-dumping Case

Dumping Charges Block China's Exports



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