Climate for Change: The PRC's Accession to the World Trade Organisation Provides Many Lessons for Other Developing Countries

Article excerpt

Developing a rule of law in the People's Republic of China (PRC) has been closely associated with the country's deepening economic reforms. The law has played an important role in promoting economic policy and openness, and this has helped mobilise political will and push forward legal and judicial reforms.

Joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in late 2001 prompted another wave of reform and development of the rule of law.

The PRC made specific commitments to open markets and general commitments to follow WTO principles, such as regulating the market and administering the regulatory system. The challenge was to do this as well as to inspire domestic industry, particularly the private sector, and attract foreign investment. Reforming the PRC's legal and judicial system to achieve the Government's long-term development objectives was another challenge.

The PRC can now provide valuable lessons to others. It has implemented tariff concessions, eliminated nontariff barriers, and opened its service markets. It is complying with WTO rules on anti-dumping, subsidy and countervailing duties, and safeguard measures.

The PRC is adjusting laws and regulations that protect intellectual property, and translating its laws and regulations into other languages. It has also introduced judicial review of decisions made by the administrative authority in WTO-related cases. …