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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.
To determine the reliability of streamlined data-gathering techniques for examining the price and affordability of a healthy (recommended) and unhealthy (current) diet. We additionally estimated the price and affordability of diets across socio-economic areas and quantified the influence of different pricing scenarios.
Following the Healthy Diets Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing (ASAP) protocol, we compared a cross-sectional sample of food and beverage pricing data collected using online data and phone calls (lower-resource streamlined techniques) with data collected in-store from the same retailers.
Food and beverage prices were collected from major supermarkets, fast food and alcohol retailers in eight conveniently sampled areas in Victoria, Australia (n 72 stores), stratified by area-level deprivation and remoteness.
This study did not involve human participants.
The biweekly price of a healthy diet was on average 21 % cheaper ($596) than an unhealthy diet ($721) for a four-person family using the streamlined techniques, which was comparable with estimates using in-store data (healthy: $594, unhealthy: $731). The diet price differential did not vary considerably across geographical areas (range: 18–23 %). Both diets were estimated to be unaffordable for families living on indicative low disposable household incomes and below the poverty line. The inclusion of generic brands notably reduced the prices of healthy and unhealthy diets (≥20 %), rendering both affordable against indicative low disposable household incomes. Inclusion of discounted prices marginally reduced diet prices (3 %).
Streamlined data-gathering techniques are a reliable method for regular, flexible and widespread monitoring of the price and affordability of population diets in areas where supermarkets have an online presence.
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