China has called on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to block loopholes and rectify practices by some member states that harm global trade, warning of a “profound crisis” facing the group’s existence.
China’s Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen pointed out during a Friday press conference in Beijing a list of detailed demands and principles to underline his nation’s position that the reform of WTO should uphold the institution’s core values, ensure impartiality and protect the interests of developing countries.
Taking aim at what he referred to as “excessive” agriculture subsidies enjoyed exclusively by developed nations, Wang insisted that certain member states had exploited loopholes in the WTO system, saying “some countries are in reality just hoping to uphold their monopoly status and restrict other member states’ development.”
The senior official then added that “the WTO should prioritize key issues that threaten the institution’s existence.”
He further emphasized that reforms should remedy discrimination by some countries against investments by other nations and companies, and must not be used as a pretext to deprive China of the right to enjoy differentiated treatment as a developing country. Wang, however, did not single out any specific country.
China and the US have clashed over WTO reforms amid an escalating trade dispute that has triggered billions in retaliatory tariffs and upset global markets.
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The debate over reforming the WTO has largely been driven by Washington’s complaints that it has failed to prevent alleged Chinese violation of its rules, with US President Donald Trump threatening to withdraw from the organization to what he said protect American interests.