China defends role in trade after US criticism

BEIJING — China defended its role in global trade Monday and accused Washington of being disruptive after the U.S. government said it was a mistake to support Beijing's World Trade Organization membership on terms that failed to open its economy.

China is "strictly complying with WTO rules" and "making great contributions" to the global trading system, said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying. She repeated criticism that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has threatened the stability of the international system by launching trade investigations against China under U.S. law instead of through the WTO.

"We are a defender, builder and contributor of the multilateral trade system," Hua said at a regular news briefing. "And you may have noted it is the unilateral actions and unilateral messages from the U.S. that pose an unprecedented challenge to the multilateral trade system. Many WTO members have expressed their concerns over that."

Beijing faces growing complaints from Washington, Europe and other trading partners that it hampers access to its banking, energy and other industries in violation of market-opening commitments it made when it joined the WTO in 2001.

In a report to Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative said the United States made a mistake in supporting China's WTO membership "on terms that have proven to be ineffective in securing China's embrace of an open, market-oriented trade regime."

The report echoed previous U.S. frustration with China's trade policies but used unusually severe language.

The Trump administration is expected to announce results in coming weeks of its "Section 301" investigation launched in August into whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

If the investigation concludes Beijing acted improperly, Washington could seek remedies either through the WTO or outside of it. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce warned earlier that Beijing will "resolutely safeguard" its interests if Washington takes action.

Also this month, Chinese authorities criticized Washington for invoking national security concerns in blocking e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma's proposed acquisition of the money transfer service MoneyGram.

You may also like these

China's electric vehicle industry shaken by...

Sep 13, 2016

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked...

Aid groups warn of crisis as Mongolia hit by...

Dec 21, 2016

Another unusually harsh winter in Mongolia that's decimating livestock and sending temperatures to...

China auto market has bumper year but 2017...

Jan 12, 2017

Industry figures show China's auto market had a bumper year in 2016 as sales grew by 15 percent,...

'One China principle' not negotiable, China tells...

Jan 16, 2017

Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry says the country's "one-China...

IMF raises China growth forecast but warns on debt

Jan 16, 2017

The International Monetary Fund has raised its growth forecast for China but warned that rising...

Sign up now!

The Financial Capital is your independent source for finance information and advice. We provide insights and offer advice from financial experts so you can make the best decisions.

Contact us: sales[at]thefinancialcapital.com