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Legal Professionals Urged to Prepare for WTO Rules

State Councilor Wu Yi Wednesday urged Chinese legal professionals to rapidly educate themselves on World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations, to prepare the nation for joining the global trade club.

"Chinese legal professionals should get acquainted with the rules and practices of WTO as soon as possible,'' Wu said in her congratulatory letter sent Wednesday to the founding of the WTO Law Sector of China Law Society. The sector was established to conduct academic research, exchange and consultation on WTO-related legal issues, according to society sources.

It is a basic requirement of the WTO for member economies to make a unified implementation of its rules abundant in content, with vast and numerous stipulations concerning various aspects.

Wu said the new sector of the society is expected to become the brain bank for the policy-makers, and make contributions to the improvement of WTO rules and the establishment of a new world economic order.

Her views were shared by Long Yongtu, vice-minister of foreign trade and economic co-operation, and China's chief WTO accession negotiator.

"The establishment of this sector will be a great legal support for the country to perform its promises after China enters the World Trade Organization,'' said Long, who is also senior adviser of the new sector.

China started its negotiations to enter the global trade club as early as 1986.

Part of the reason for the 14-year-long arduous mediation is the inadequate acquisition of knowledge on WTO rules, Long said.

China will check its legislations on its own timetable, set according to the nation's progress on its entry into the WTO, said Li Shishi, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.

The task will need more efforts from the legal professionals who are familiar with WTO rules, Li added.

Ren Jianxin, chairman of the society and former Chinese chief justice, urged the sector to conduct thorough research into the legal system of the WTO, which "has its own characteristics'' in areas ranging from rights and obligations, to its system of disputes settlement.

Hundreds of legal professors and lawyers attending the founding ceremony of the new sector are also holding a two-day seminar on WTO regulations, which started Wednesday.

(People's Daily 08/30/2001)

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