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3 - State Capitalism in China’s Accession to the WTO

Concerns and Solutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 November 2022

Henry Gao
Affiliation:
Singapore Management University
Weihuan Zhou
Affiliation:
University of New South Wales, Sydney
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Summary

Chapter 3 deflates the myth that China’s state capitalism is a new problem with an extensive review of China’s WTO accession. Drawing from the negotiation records, we demonstrated that WTO Members have been well aware of the potential clashes between WTO rules and China’s state capitalism since the very beginning. Yet, contrary to those who argue that state capitalism is inherently incompatible with the WTO, the Members believed that practical solutions could be found. Thus, they meticulously identified specific aspects of the Chinese system that might undermine its WTO commitments and carefully crafted surgical solutions to address these problems in WTO-consistent ways. Such an approach is much better than the one asking for a complete overhaul of China’s economic system, as it not only minimises the resistance of China but also ensures that the problematic areas are fully addressed. Thus, the theory that the accession negotiation failed to address the problems presented by China’s state capitalism is unconvincing. Instead, the practical approach adopted in the negotiation demonstrates the faith among WTO Members in the ability of the WTO to act as a neutral forum.

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Chapter
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Between Market Economy and State Capitalism
China's State-Owned Enterprises and the World Trading System
, pp. 42 - 68
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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