Special treatment for developing members in WTO should be safeguarded: Foreign Ministry

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Photo taken on April 12, 2018 shows the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. [Photo/Xinhua]

The principle of special and differential treatment for developing members in the World Trade Organization (WTO) should be safeguarded, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.

The United States issued a memorandum on Friday that required the WTO to change how it designates developing countries, singling out China multiple times.

In response, spokesperson Hua Chunying said the WTO must respect the general will of all members, and the principle of special and differential treatment for developing members reflects the core value and basic principle of the WTO.

Most WTO members believe these core values and basic principles should be upheld regardless of how the WTO is reformed, Hua said, adding that the United States should realize its claims would not gain support from other WTO members.

No single country or a few countries can designate developing members in the WTO. It should be determined through consultations among WTO members, especially by respecting the opinions of developing countries.

The U.S. side exaggerates the development level of some developing countries, which has been repeatedly opposed by most developing members, Hua said, noting that a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said the current classification of developing countries was reasonable.

As the largest developing country in the world, China insists on its status of developing country not because it shrinks from due responsibilities, but because it advocates the basic rights of developing countries and safeguards global justice and fairness, Hua said.

China would contribute to help other developing members achieve common development, safeguard the multilateral trade system and promote the WTO reform in the right direction, she said.

She said the U.S. move on developing country status within the WTO further exposed its arrogance and selfishness, and was not in line with its status as the world's largest country.

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