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China and the WTO: (How) can they live together?

What changes can be made to make China and the WTO more compatible with each other?


Video and audio recordings

At this event we presented “China and the WTO: Why Multilateralism Still Matters” (authored by Petros C. Mavroidis and André Sapir) and discussed China’s participation in the World Trade Organization, the conflicts it has caused, and how WTO reforms could ease them.

China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 was rightly hailed as a huge step forward in international cooperation. However, China’s participation in the WTO has been anything but smooth, with China alienating some of its trading partners, particularly the United States. The mismatch between the WTO framework and China’s economic model has undermined the WTO’s ability to mitigate tensions arising from China’s size and rapid growth. Can the WTO system predicated on liberal domestic policies and China’s socialist market economy system live together? What must change to make them more compatible with one another and avoid continuous tensions that risk endangering the very existence of the WTO?