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Title: Behind China's World Trade Organization agreement with the USA
Authors: Lai, H.H. 
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Lai, H.H. (2001). Behind China's World Trade Organization agreement with the USA. Third World Quarterly 22 (2) : 237-255. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The Sino-US agreement regarding China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in late 1999 came as a surprise to many observers. How and why did the Chinese reach the agreement in view of the impasses in the negotiation that occurred earlier in the year? These impasses included the collapse of the WTO talks during Zhu's visit to the USA in April, the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May, and the deadlock between the Chinese and US negotiators in November. Drawing on published sources as well as experts' insights, this paper examines the Chinese leadership's decision-making process and its reasons for concluding the agreement. It suggests that the exclusive decision-making circle of top Chinese leaders circumvented the opposition to the agreement and facilitated the negotiations. These leaders, especially Jiang and Zhu, favoured an agreement because they believed WTO membership could improve China's international relations, trade conditions, the outcomes of reform at home, and China's leverage over Taiwan. The closed decision making on the WTO also left the Chinese leaders with a challenging task: educating officials and the population about the WTO rules and possible impacts while ensuring that they abide by the rules.
Source Title: Third World Quarterly
ISSN: 01436597
DOI: 10.1080/01436590120037054
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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