“Trade Liberalization with Chinese Characteristics”: Few Notes on PRC’s WTO Membership

Butiseacă, Alexandru
Iacob, Mihaela
Publication date: 
JEL codes: 
F13 - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations, F53 - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations, O19 - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations, P33 - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Business, and Aid.
There is a significant amount of published empirical studies that describe the relation of the People’s Republic of China with the World Trade Organization as the vehicle through which this country has reached the goal of opening further its domestic economy by freeing its foreign trade. If those ruling the Chinese people’s destiny saw in the WTO accession, along with the acceptance of its basic rules, a path that will lead them to the benefits and opportunities offered by some sectors’ liberalization, this judgment raises several concerns. An obvious one could be: Why not doing this unilaterally? Benefits might have been consistent. Not only that this would have been much easier, if the will of the Party, but the effects of opening market to other nations, within or outside the WTO, could have spurred earlier and stronger. Noteworthy is that many much economically freer countries are not yet members of the WTO. Then, if it is considered that the accession to this organization, by the values, rules and principles that it promotes, will allow any domestic economy to thrive, why do we assist to China’s failure in fulfilling all the WTO membership criteria and in complying with all the rules? In our opinion, Chinese authorities tried to accommodate pragmatically some liberalization to inspire trustworthiness for FDI with a boost for national companies still benefiting from public support and newly opened markets, thus seeking not pure freedom, but wise access to the workings of managed world trade.
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