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China Calls for Revival of Doha Talks
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday expressed his concerns over the stalled Doha talks, urging developed nations to make concessions to revive the talks at an early date.


"China supports the multilateral trade system and opposes trade protectionism," said Wen in a meeting with visiting director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Pascal Lamy.


"The completion of the Doha Round talks is of importance to the establishment of a fair, just and open multilateral trade system," said Wen, adding that the developed nations are expected to "take the lead in making substantial concessions" in terms of cutting farm tariffs and subsidies.


The Doha Development Round talks collapsed in July when five years of lengthy talks failed to resolve disputes among key participants over farm tariffs and subsidies. These disputes, including such powerhouses as the US, the EU and Australia, and the revival of the Doha talks were the focus of US Trade Representative Susan Schwab’s visit to China last week.


The premier highlighted China's determination to continue with its opening-up policy, stating that since China joined the WTO in December 2001, it has greatly lowered its average tariff and widely opened up the service trade to foreign countries.


"China's entry into the WTO not only brings benefits to China, but also allows a contribution to the development of world trade and economy," Wen added.


Lamy hoped China could play a positive and constructive role in rekindling the Doha Round talks and in pushing forward the negotiations to reach an agreement.


China has fulfilled the promises it made when entering the WTO, said Lamy.


China has been taking an active part in the Doha Round talks and made its contribution to the enhancement of the multilateral trade system, Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said in a statement issued on Tuesday.


Bo stressed that the Doha Round talks should not only seek progress on market access issues but also fully realize the development goals of all parties concerned.


"Only by addressing the imbalances between developed and developing countries can we secure the healthy and sustained development of global trade," Bo said.


According to the statement, Lamy agreed with China's determination to resume trade talks and promised to make sure developing countries would benefit from the WTO talks.


Lamy was said to have described to Bo his thoughts and concerns over the stalled Doha talks and urged China to play a bigger role.


(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2006)

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