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China important supporter of multilateral trading system: WTO official Release date: 2021-12-09    Source:Xinhua

China has been a staunch supporter of the multilateral trading system as an important member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the WTO's Deputy Director-General Zhang Xiangchen told Xinhua in a recent interview.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO. After its accession, China has played an increasingly important role in global trade, as well as in upholding global multilateral trade, Zhang said at the WTO headquarters in Geneva.

According to Zhang, China's accession to the WTO has provided policy stability and predictability for its trading partners, and its integration into economic globalization has provided the world with a huge market space.

Contributing nearly 30 percent on average to world economic growth over the past 20 years, China now boasts the largest middle-income population in the world and is a major trade partner for over 120 countries and regions, and the largest trade partner of the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Zhang has had an extensive career of more than 30 years in international trade, and served from 2017 to 2020 as China's Permanent Representative to the WTO.

As a witness of China's accession to the WTO, Zhang said that "China is undoubtedly a big beneficiary as a WTO member."

China's economic achievements after joining the WTO are inseparable from its own economic system reform, he said, adding that the Asian country has fulfilled its commitments made 20 years ago.

"China's accession process to the WTO coincided with the time when the country was accelerating its transition from a planned economy to a market economy," Zhang noted.

In the face of the impact of protectionism, "China has played a constructive role in defending the foundation of the global trading system," he added.

Regarding COVID-19's impact on the global economy and trade, China has made great efforts to promote the fair distribution of vaccines and ensure the stability of the global supply chain, he said.

China has also actively participated in the negotiation of multilateral initiatives in e-commerce and investment facilitation, he said.

It has continuously promoted bilateral and regional economic and trade cooperation after joining the WTO, Zhang said.