China has tabled two formal documents on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, these being the Position Paper on WTO Reform of November 2018 and the Proposal of China on WTO Reform of May 2019.
Four aspects are highlighted here.
1. China wants a WTO “improvement”, not a WTO “revolution”.
For the Chinese government the WTO remains the “cornerstone” of economic globalization and trade liberalization, and the “pillar of global economic governance”. The Communist Party recognizes that the WTO “is not perfect” and needs to be “improved” in key areas. However, China does not want this “reform” to be revolutionary to the extent that changes would undermine the long-standing principles of the organization, such as non-discrimination, consensus decision-making, or special and differential development.