China and the World Trade Organization: Join the club

The world traders are finally about to welcome China into their ranks. After fifteen years of talks, there’s change ahead for all. Jobs will be lost and others created, even the political system may not be immune. And a firm new voice will be heard in the corridors of trading power. China and the World Trade Organization will never be the same again.

The World Today
Published 1 October 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 4 minute READ

Zhen Kun Wang

Research Fellow, International Economics Programme, Chatham House

China’s membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will greatly strengthen the organisation’s claim to universality, bringing its numbers to 143 with Russia and Ukraine the only larger countries still to join. It may also boost confidence in the WTO at a difficult time. China’s membership officially ends the marathon accession negotiations and, more importantly, adds a positive and agreed agenda for the trade ministers to deal with at their November ministerial meeting in Doha.

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