Statement by H.E. Ambassador YU Jianhua
at the General Council Meeting
24 February 2016 10:00 Room CR
Thank you Mr.Chairman.
I would like to join DG and other colleagues in extending our sympathy and condolences to theFijian government and its people for the grave property loss and casualties caused by the super cyclone. The Chinese government is willing to provide disaster relief assistance to the best of its capacity.
I would also like to cordially welcome new colleagues and I look forward to collaborating with you in this organization.
I highly appreciate DG’s report to Members on where we stand and ways to advance the negotiations.
Two weeks ago, we had an Informal Head of Delegation Meeting, at which quite a number of Members made their statements, while I chose not to intervene due to the time constraints. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of our reflections at this stage.
First and foremost, the Nairobi Ministerial is a success. It is undeniable. We want to express our hearty gratitude to Kenya for its outstanding organization, and to the DG and his team for their hard efforts. MC10 is a success both for the multilateral trading system and all Members, but this does not mean that the history of WTO has been re-written and those positions of Members elaborated in this big room and other small rooms have been changed during Nairobi or after Nairobi.
Second, Members are identifying their priorities for the remaining issues. We have had export competition for agriculture, TFA for rules, something for development, which of course are far from satisfactory. However, nothing yet has been achieved on NAMA or Services. Therefore, special attention needs to be paid to the areas without any multilateral achievements so far. By saying so, I don’t intend to push anything off the table.
We have been told by some members that new approaches and new path need to be adopted to address the unresolved issues. However, what remains unclear is what those new things arein reality. Some members suggested that WTO move on to new issues. We are open to explore this idea. However, we have to recognize that, comparing with the Doha remaining issues, these new issues are not on the same page in terms of maturity and level of consensus.
Third, Nairobi Ministerial Declaration provides the guidance for the Post-Nairobi work, but it is not clearly defined due to its nature of constructive ambiguity. The danger weare facing is that issues will be treated in a fragmented and isolated manner. This is just like walking into the forest jungle without any navigational device.
In order to help us find their position in the jungle and map out the way forward, China put forward the concept of Solidarity Work Programme at Davos. The work programme includes two sets of issues. The first set covers the remaining Doha issues including agriculture, NAMA, services, rules and development. To address these issues, a multilateral approach should be adopted in line with Doha mandate. The other set covers issues that are very relevant to the business realities today and having far reaching significance upon trade growth, such as E-commerce and investment. For these issues, the multilateral consensus should be reached.
We are aware of certain concerns there may be, and I want to make some clarifications here.
The Solidarity Work Programme is not repeating the Post-Bali Work Program, neither is it repeating the debates that lead to impasse. On the contrary, basing on our past experiences and lessons, such work programme serves to help explore our way forward. We do not intend to develop another modality-like work programme. We simply want to further specify our work on the basis of Nairobi Ministerial Declaration. With a sense of urgency, it is desirable to engage Members in a more coordinated and dedicated manner. In short, the key words for the work programme are direction, balance and solidarity. We do believe that, at this point of time, such work programme is necessary and doable, and we are ready to have discussions with other Members.
Last but not the least, faithful and timely implementations of Bali and Nairobi outcomes will significantly contribute to the credibility of multilateral trading system.
China is hosting G20 this year. Supporting multilateral trading system and WTO negotiations is one of the top priorities of trade pillar. China is fully committed and would join hands with other members, marching toward our common goal of having a doable and commercially meaningful Work Program. To that end, we will remain open, and continue to participate in discussions and consultations in various configurations.
Thank you, Mr.Chairman.