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Laws Revised to Meet WTO
The Chinese Government reiterated yesterday that it is sparing no efforts to further accelerate the revision and abolishment of laws and regulations that run counter to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

"We are now engaged in the revision, abolition and promulgation of relevant laws and regulations as part of our commitment to the WTO," said Yi Xiaozhun, director-general of the Department of International Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC).

He made the remark yesterday in Beijing at a summit symposium entitled "WTO and China - Strategy of International Economic Development," as part of the ongoing Fifth China Beijing International High-tech Expo.

According to MOFTEC, more than 2,300 related laws and regulations have been cleaned up, and a total of 830 have been abolished so far.

Meanwhile, the watchdog for China's foreign trade will enact 325 new related laws and regulations.

"We are going to take advantage of China's WTO entry to reform our foreign trade system and build up an efficient market for both domestic and international players," Yi added.

China's foreign trade has soared from US$38 billion in 1980 to US$509.8 billion last year.

"The following five to 10 years will be of pivotal importance for China to seek its development," said Yi.

"We are also speeding up our pace to revise tax-related laws and regulations to further boost the country's economic development," said Hao Zhaocheng, deputy director of the State Administration of Taxation at the event.

"All those taxes that don't comply with the WTO rules will be annulled," he said.

However, Hao emphasized, along with the adjustment of the country's taxation system, China is continuing to encourage more foreign investment and to protect the legal rights of foreign investment in China.

"A prudent way will be adopted to chop out a new tax system in line with the WTO rules," he added.

Hao also pointed out that much needs to be done to optimize the current taxation system, such as establishing unified enterprise taxes for both domestic and foreign enterprises and the optimization of individual income taxes.

"We will not only follow the WTO rules, but also take advantage of the WTO rules to help enhance the competitiveness of domestic industries in the global context," the deputy director said.

"Beijing is also revising and abolishing local laws and regulations in line with China's WTO entry," said Meng Xuenong, vice-mayor of Beijing.

A total of 587 local regulations have been cleaned up, he added.

"Beijing's 2008 Olympics will provide great business opportunities for enterprises, and we are working on a plan to enhance our efficiency and accountability," Meng said.

(China Daily May 25, 2002)

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