Chinese ambassador urges EU, China to join forces in trade
"China and the European Union should enhance co-ordination and safeguard the rules-based multilateral trade regime against surging protectionism and unilateralism and continued tension in international trade relations," wrote Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the UK in an article published by the Daily Telegraph on Friday, August 24, 2018.
Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the UK, has penned an article published by the Daily Telegraph on Friday, August 24, 2018, arguing the EU and China should join hands on trade and safeguarding multilateral trading system. [Photo: Provided by Chinese Embassy to UK]
The Chinese ambassador notes the EU has been China's largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years. China remains the EU's second largest trading partner. Liu Xiaoming argues that without the multilateral trading system, this type of progress could not have been possible.
"Over the past 40 years, China-EU trade in goods has increased from less than four billion US dollars to over 600 billion US dollars and trade in services has grown from zero to over 100 billion US dollars." Liu Xiaoming notes China and Europe have not only gained from, but also helped create and build this system. "They should therefore take the lead in upholding multilateralism, free trade and the rules-based international order, and opposing protectionism and unilateralism. An open, inclusive, transparent and non-discriminatory multilateral trade regime with the World Trade Organization at its core is in the common interests of not only China and Europe but also the whole world," said Liu.
"The international trade regime needs to be reformed in accordance with the changing times, so does the WTO," writes Liu Xiaoming. "Though not perfect, the WTO remains the most effective mechanism for multilateral trade ever established. It has the support of the majority of countries because it is rules-based, aims to be equitable and pursues win-win outcomes as its goal. The reform of the WTO could not be done overnight. Instead, the reform measures need to be rolled out gradually on the basis of consultation," writes Liu.