December 11, 2006 marks the 5th anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the past five years, China has comprehensively and fully implemented the extensive commitments it made upon joining the world trade body in 2001.
China's average industrial tariffs were lowered from pre-WTO levels of 14.8 percent to 9.1 percent by 2005, while agricultural tariffs fell from 23.2 percent to 15.3 percent.
China has also opened up 10 service sectors and 100 sub-sectors as per its commitments. These sub-sectors include banking, insurance, distribution, telecoms, legal service, and accounting.
In addition, China's trade-related laws, regulations and rules have undergone extensive reviewing and have been brought into full compliance with commitments made upon accession.
China has also made tremendous efforts in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. In only 20 years, a complete IPR protection legislative and enforcement system has been established in China, and public awareness of IPR protection has been dramatically raised.
China has also made numerous efforts to restart the WTO's stalled Doha round of talks in a bid to lower global trade barriers.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said that China's membership in the global trade body is a "big plus for everyone."
In the first review of China's trade policy in June this year, the global trade body's assessment of China's fulfillment of its WTO commitments was positive.
(China.org.cn December 8, 2006)