China has pledged its willingness to hold regular talks with the European Union (EU) in the new round of World Trade Organization negotiations aimed at making early progress and improving the world trade environment.
Minister of Commerce Lu Fuyuan told EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy on Saturday, that China was ready to actively participate in, and promote a whole range of topics in the next round of WTO talks. This was, said Lu, conducive to China's realization of its economic goals over the next 20 years.
He said that reaching agreements at an early date was in the interests of all parties and contributed to the long-term, steady growth of the world economy and trade.
Although no agreements had been reached since the start of the negotiations, China did not in anyway regard the talks as deadlocked, Lu said, adding that all members were seeking solutions that would satisfy all.
The spirit of the WTO stressed mutually beneficial results and common development, and the interests of those members from developing countries and regions should be fully respected, he said. Lu expressed his hope that no unfair or discriminative clauses would be sought in the next round of talks.
He highlighted the fact that China's government departments had fully abided by the country's accession provisions, for which they had won the praise of other WTO members. Since fair trade and non-discrimination were the fundamental principles of the body, discriminative measures, such as those taken by some members, would undermine Chinese business confidence in the WTO and ergo world trade development.
He also promised that China would strengthen coordination and negotiations with the EU to promote bilateral trade and economic ties.
Lamy praised China's performance in fulfilling its commitments to the WTO.
He said that China had played an increasingly important role since entering the organization and had set a model for developing economies in Asia by opening to the world.
The EU was willing to enhance communication with China to promote the new round of talks, Lamy added.
(China Daily June 16, 2003)