China started to slash its average import tariff rate to 10.4 percent from its current 11 percent in accordance with commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The announcement was made after the State Council agreed to planned tariff cuts, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
In the course of 2003, China reduced its average import tariff rate from 12 percent to the present level. The previous year marked a steeper cut from a 15.3 percent average import tariff rate.
Tariff cuts announced Thursday by China means the world's most populous country has nearly completed the lowering of tariffs that were part of the requirements for entering the WTO.
China joined the WTO as its 143rd member in December 2001, promising to cut average import tariffs to 9.8 percent by 2010.
(China Daily January 2, 2004)