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China and the WTO 中国与世贸组织

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Disciplines
  • Medicine
  • Political Science

Abstract

The ‘rise’ of China stands as one of the most significant developments in global politics in the post-cold war era. Yet, China’s rise has not been uniformly welcomed. For some, it has generated fears that the PRC’s growing global prominence will inevitably be malignant; for others the rise of China has been largely ‘system-preserving’ in character. While a consensus has yet to emerge, the dominance of the debate has ensured that investigations into the factors shaping the PRC’s international relations and, with regard to the subject of this paper, its behaviour in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been too bound up with, and as a result too distracted by, the search for proof of ‘real’ intentions and less concerned with clear analysis. We seek to move beyond the strictures of this debate to investigate more thoroughly the factors shaping China’s trade diplomacy. We argue that an examination of the factors shaping China’s trade diplomacy must take into account the strong effects exerted on that diplomacy by its membership of the WTO. To substantiate our argument, we begin by setting out some conceptual markers on what we know about the peculiarities of international institutions as a framework for understanding how the WTO as an institution affects China. We then explore key developments in China’s political economy to the point at which the PRC acceded to the organisation before considering how the pursuit of WTO membership has shaped Chinese development, its trade diplomacy, and impact on the WTO of China’s membership. We conclude that while WTO accession may have altered the composition of the organisation’s core decision-making group by placing China at its heart, it has been sufficiently, and perhaps uniquely costly to China in terms of concessions made, in closing down room for manoeuvre in the current Doha round and in constraining the PRC’s capacity to switch from an export-led to a domestic consumption based model of development.摘要中国崛起已成为后冷战时期全球政治领域最引人关注的现象之一。然而,这一现象却尚未获得 国际社会普遍欢迎和接受。一些观点担心,中华人民共和国日渐强大的全球影响力势必危及世 界;另一些观点认为中国崛起本质上仍为“系统内聚”性特征。各方观点集中探讨中国国际关 系形成机制的影响因素,以及本文主题所涉及的中国在世界贸易组织(WTO)中的行为特点,但种种观察研究过多局限于对真实意图证据的挖掘而非客观的逻辑分析,因而偏离了问题核心 实质。本篇论文立意摆脱这种争论的局限性,对中国贸易外交政策的形成因素展开透彻剖析。本文认为,研究中国贸易外交影响因素必须考虑中国世界贸易组织成员国身份的重要影响作用。为了使论述充分具体,本文从反映国际组织机构特殊性的概念切入,为深入理解世界贸易组 织对中国的影响方式提供背景框架。文章随后探讨中国入世之际的关键政治经济政策考量,进而阐述世贸组织成员国身份争取过程对于中国发展模式和贸易政策制定的影响,以及这种身份 对于世贸组织的反作用力。最终得出结论,中国入世可能由于其核心地位而改变世贸组织核心 决策机制,同时就入世前的种种让步而言,中国必须承受独特的重大代价,比如目前多哈回合 谈判中的有限回旋空间,以及出口导向型向内需导向型发展模式转变过程中所受的制约。

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