On 15 January 2017, the Sunday Telegraph and its website published a signed article by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming entitled “China will play its part in the new globalisation”. The full text is as follows:
China Will Play Its Part in the New Globalization
Fifteen years after China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation, the “substitute nation” method for calculating anti-dumping measure against China has finally expired. This is according to Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the organisation back in 2001. It means fellow members should no longer discriminate against Chinese exports under “anti-dumping” measures.
The spirit of the contract is the foundation of the market economy and adherence to international treaties is one of the basic norms of the international law. All WTO members are obliged to ensure honest contractual performance and to uphold the authority of the multilateral trading regime, which in turn serves the interests of the members themselves.
Regrettably, however, both the United States and the EU, as well as a few others, have so far refused to fulfil their obligations under Article 15 by upgrading China’s WTO status. Indeed, the EU has gone further, intending to replace “non-market economy” criteria with “market distortion” criteria. These fancy concepts cannot disguise the undeclared intention to renege on international treaty obligations or even to misinterpret WTO rules in order to continue with anti-dumping cases against China. This, in essence, is protectionism, which not only jeopardises mutual trust and cooperation between WTO members but also undermines international confidence in multilateral trading regime and rules.
Pasta Sunt Servanda. Or as the Chinese say: “You can’t get a proper square without a ruler or a circle without a compass.” Both Western and Oriental wisdom emphasises the most fundamental principle of international law – that agreements must be kept. Over the past 15 years, China has earnestly fulfilled its WTO obligations, being an active and resolute participant in, upholder and contributor of the multilateral trading regime. On 1 January 2010, China fully completed its tariff reduction commitment well in advance, winning international acclaim. In 2016, China hosted the successful G20 Summit in Hangzhou, initiated the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group, and led the making of the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth. The Summit also laid out the first global framework of multilateral rules governing international investment. These are China’s contribution to global economic governance. It is now time for the US and the EU to fulfil their commitment.
Through its active participation in the multilateral trade system, China has made huge contribution to world economic growth. It is now the second largest economy, largest trading nation in goods and the biggest trading partner for more than 130 countries around the world. It is also the number one destination for foreign investment and second largest outbound investor. As an important powerhouse of the world economy, China in recent years has contributed 25 per cent to global growth.
At present, globalisation is in difficulty. International trade and investment is sluggish while protectionism is on the rise. However, anti-globalisation and protectionism offer no way out. The future of the world economy lies with economic globalisation. As a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics finds, if the US placed 45 per cent tariffs on Chinese goods and 35 per cent tariffs on Mexico, and China and Mexico did the same to US goods and services, US exports and imports would shrink, consumption and investment would plunge, unemployment would rise, and economic growth would slow down to recession within three years.
Economic globalisation is in temporary adjustment and transition. That’s nothing to fear. What we must do is to adjust and adapt, and to build an upgraded version of globalisation. Countries should find the match between globalisation and their own development, address issues of fairness and justice, and work together to build a more inclusive world economy that benefits all.
There should be stronger support for the WTO’s multilateral trading regime and greater priority given to trade and investment facilitation and liberalisation. Fragmentation of regional trade agreements must be effectively addressed to ensure that trade arrangements are open and inclusive rather than closed and exclusive. If countries of the world work together to dovetail their development strategies and co-operation initiatives, they will be on the right path toward common development. China will continue to take an active part in that.
The complexity and challenges of the world economy call for countries to co-operate. The UK has always been committed to free trade and now to building a “truly global Britain”. China stands ready to work with the UK and other like-minded nations to advance a new type of globalisation, to oppose protectionism, to improve and uphold the multilateral trading regime, and to build an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.