China and the WTO

In April 1994, the ministerial-level meeting of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade was held in Morocco. The participants formally agreed to establish the World Trade Organization. WTO was established on January 1st, 1995; China formally became an observer on July 11 the same year.


The aims and purposes of the organization are: to promote economic and trade development so as to improve living standards, ensure employment and the increase of actual income and effective demand; to rationally utilize world resources in accordance with the aim of sustainable development and expand production of goods and services; to make agreements on the basis of mutual benefit and reciprocation; to greatly decrease and eventually cancel tariffs and other trade barriers and eliminate unequal treatment in world trade. The WTO has 144 member states with its headquarters in Geneva.


Since putting forward its proposal to reenter GATT in 1986, China has made unswerving efforts to realize its goal. On September 17, 2001, the 18th Meeting of Working Party on China approved all the legal documents of China, which brought all the negotiations on China's accession to a successful end. The Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference was held from November 9 to 13 in Doha, Qatar. The meeting made a decision on ratifying China's accession to the WTO on November 10 and China signed the Protocol the next day. According to WTO regulations, China officially became a member of the WTO on December 11. From December 19 to 20, China attended the WTO General Council meeting as a formal member state.