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RFA: Scholars Challenge China’s WTO Commitments

In a press conference held during the National Congress, Chen Deming, Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce denied the claims that China has not come forth with any new initiatives since it joined the WTO. Chen insisted that China has fulfilled the commitments it made when it joined the WTO. As to the requirement for the Chinese government to break up its monopolies and the other special rights it holds, Chen insisted that there will be reforms in state owned enterprises with the condition that the status of the socialist economic system of public ownership is maintained.

Many Chinese scholars believe that issues remain with China’s open door policy where China should make further efforts to open its doors in both domestic and foreign markets, break up the monopolies of the State Owned Enterprises, and return the gains back to the people. Hu Xindou, an economist from Beijing, told RFA that, since China joined the WTO, its monopoly in the finance industry has remained an unsatisfactory condition, especially in the banking industry and in the free exchange of currency. Sun Wenguang, a retired professor from Shandong Province stated that there are many issues in terms of whether China has been following the common regulation since it joined the WTO. For example, there is unfair trade because Chinese movies and cultural products are exported overseas while many Hollywood movies are banned in China. Sun stated that China is not an economic market country. Its telecommunication, coal mine industry, and railroads are state owned. This results in corrupt interests that only benefit special classes.

It was reported that the Agreement on Government Procurement that China submitted in December 2012 was said to be protective of its domestic enterprises, since state owned enterprises’ procurements are excluded from the agreement, while the total coverage in the agreement only accounts for 2-3 percent of China’s total procurement market.

Source: Radio Free Asia, March 8, 2013