China Versus the US - The Chinese Challenge to the World Trading System

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But this is not the end of the road. Further liberalization - undertaken on the basis of WTO rules, and in exchange for benefits from other WTO partners - could prove the biggest stimulus yet to China's economic growth. And, by extension, a giant stimulus to the world economy. I am not suggesting that joining the WTO is a simple step.

Just the opposite. But many other countries that are already members of the WTO share a comparable level of development with China. They have subscribed to its rights and obligations and enjoy its benefits. The other accession candidates are also showing they have made the same choice. The attraction of the WTO lies precisely in the strength and consistency of its rights and obligations - which we continue to broaden and deepen with the further expansion and integration of the global economy.

Fifty years ago the focus was only on tariffs and other border measures; today WTO rules extend well inside the border, to encompass technical standards, services, intellectual property, trade-related investment, and a host of other economic policies that were once considered domestic. The growing complexity of the rules and diversity of membership, far from weakening the WTO, has strengthened it.

In moving to broader participation we have done more than add a new rule here or a new member there. We have created an expanding network of interlocking interests and responsibilities - a system which grows more vital to all our trading interests as it grows stronger. It is because China's accession to the WTO will profoundly shape the future evolution and direction of global economic relations that we must get the process right. China is too large and important an economic player - and its entry into the WTO will have too great an impact on the system - to compromise these negotiations.

We have recently seen important signs of momentum and creative flexibility we have recently seen in these negotiations - in difficult areas like trading rights, non discrimination, non tariff barriers, state trading, investment, and intellectual property where the negotiators have made quite remarkable progress, especially in recent months. None of this progress would have been possible without the vital - if time-consuming - technical groundwork that all parties to this negotiation have laid over the previous decade. But what is really driving this process forward is a shared recognition of the rewards that are riding on success.

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My purpose is not to underestimate the work before us, especially as we approach the next negotiating session scheduled in May this year. Like all negotiations, much of the important work - and the toughest issues - have been left to the end. My purpose instead is to urge all concerned to redouble their efforts - and to stretch their imaginations - now that we can claim to be entering the final phase and there is a widely shared need to move forward with urgency. There still remain crucial issues pertaining to China's terms of accession to the WTO.

Equally important, there are the bilateral market accession negotiations with China's major trading partners which, as you know, are a critical and essential element of any successful negotiation.

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Once again we should recall that China's position as the 5th world exporter reinforces the need for its own market to be accessible to others. These are all important issues that will need to be resolved to everyone's satisfaction before China can be brought into the WTO. I need hardly add that this commitment of the Secretariat stands equally firm as we approach the final stages of the accession process. The challenges ahead do not alter the basic reality that no aspect of China's economic and trade relations will be easier to handle outside the multilateral system.

No-one can want such a scenario. The international debate about globalization vividly illustrates this last point. Implicity or explicitly, China is moving to the very centre of this debate.

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The wonder is not that the accession negotiations have been so long and so complex. The wonder is that this immense country has moved so far into the mainstream of the global economy in so short a time. The walls that divided us are falling down; but some still see disparities and differences, rather than our common interests. Globalization is weaving the world together as never before; but it is a world of different cultures, different systems, and different levels of development. Interdependence demands that we respect our unique cultures and civilizations.

Interdependence also demands that we find common solutions to our common problems. These include the concerns of China's major trading partners about its persistent trade surpluses. China is not alone in making this effort of restructuring. Globalization obliges all nations, small or large, rich or poor, to take part in a continuous process of adjustment. More than ever before, the world's problems will be China's problems; and China's problems will be the world's.

Yet our world of dramatic change is also a world of dramatic possibilities. China's living standards have doubled in the last decade, and will no doubt double and triple again. New opportunities are opening up for Chinese workers and Chinese entrepreneurs. New choices are opening up for Chinese consumers. And out of this economic opening springs new hope.

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  • I would argue, from the evidence of the huge success of reform so far, that the real cost would lie in keeping doors closed, in slowing the restructuring process, and in maintaining inefficient public structures. What is true for China is true for the world. The global economy could easily double by , raising global living standards by almost two-thirds - among the greatest advances in world history. Technology and communications are weaving together an interconnected planet, spreading the tools of economic and social progress, and equalizing the human condition.

    And we are breaking down the barriers, not just between economies, but between people, giving us a shared interest in prosperity and peace. We must be clear about what is at stake: China's entry into the global trading system is about more than trade. And it is about the future direction of the global economy and our global community. I began by saying that we are at a turning point in China's relations with the world. One of those moments in history, which come but rarely, when the choices we make shape the course of events for years and even decades to come.

    China–United States relations - Wikipedia

    The Cold War landscape has been swept away, as if by an historical earthquake. The United States is pressuring countries around the globe to avoid Huawei products and technology, with only mixed success. The problem is that there are currently no real alternatives to Huawei as an end-to-end 5G provider.

    The state of the bilateral economic relationship

    The United States should share technology and otherwise seek to develop such alternatives—working with U. The United States should also seek to develop 5G network capability that would remain secure even if deployed over equipment that is potentially compromised because it contains Huawei hardware or otherwise. This would both hedge against the risk of failure of the U.

    The United States should also insist that China open up its own digital infrastructure market to non-Chinese companies, creating a global market and level playing field open to all comers. This result would not only produce economic benefits for both economies but would further bound the competition between the United States and China, reducing the risk of confrontation and conflict.

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    The resolution of the current trade crisis should similarly seek to bound and mitigate competitive risks. And, as the Chinese would say, there is a win-win solution available if the parties can seize it. Such reform and opening up is the only way to produce the increased competition, innovation, and efficiency that the Chinese economy needs if it is to produce the economic growth that the Chinese Communist regime has promised its people.

    A new round of reform and opening up would also address the complaints of the Trump administration and the U. In order to achieve this win-win outcome, the trade agreement currently under negotiation between the two countries must involve more than just dramatically increased purchases by China of U. There is strong support for this agenda of structural reform across the U. There appears to be a struggle within the administration for the mind of U. President Donald Trump on this issue—with many including U. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer arguing strongly that the trade agreement must not only involve structural reform but also contain a real enforcement mechanism to ensure that China complies with its commitments.

    Indeed, some argue that current U. Only with real structural reforms will the Chinese economy be able to continue to contribute to global economic growth and will the two nations be able to resolve the trade issues that now hold hostage the future of U. The threat of increased tariffs and a weakening Chinese economy has presented the Trump administration with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make progress on these structural issues.

    It must not let that opportunity slip away. But much will depend on the Chinese side. Economic reform is in tension with the political agenda of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has championed increased Communist Party control over almost all aspects of Chinese life. The question is whether Xi can be convinced to embrace economic reform and opening up that is broad enough, deep enough, and soon enough both to meet the needs of the Chinese economy for future growth and to satisfy the demands of Trump and the U.

    To win this argument, Xi must be persuaded that political repression as an instrument for greater political control will ultimately be self-defeating because it threatens future economic growth. In this context, increased political repression risks threatening the very political control that Xi seeks to achieve. He needs to change course. Stephen J. Hadley is a principal of RiceHadleyGates. He served as the national security advisor to President George W. Bush from to From to , he served as deputy national security advisor.

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    Thank you for being an FP Basic subscriber. To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, upgrade your subscription by clicking the button below. Thank you for being an FP reader. To get access to this special FP Premium benefit, subscribe by clicking the button below. By Stephen J. Hadley April 11, , PM.