Project Details
Funding Scheme : General Research Fund
Project Number : 14609722
Project Title(English) : Engaging with China to Reform the World Trading System 
Project Title(Chinese) : 與中國合作改革世界貿易體系 
Principal Investigator(English) : Prof Mercurio, Bryan 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : N/A 
Department : Faculty of Law
Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Prof Kong, Qingjiang
Prof Zhou, Weihuan
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Social and Behavioural Sciences
Exercise Year : 2022 / 23
Fund Approved : 1,067,713
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2025
Abstract as per original application
This project seeks to increase understanding of China’s engagement with and impact on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its role in the development of trade relations and global governance into the future. China has enormously benefited from WTO membership in many ways, including by moving from the world’s sixth to second largest economy. In the process, China has both been transformed by and transformed the world trading system. If the system is to be maintained and further developed, China needs to be engaged rather than confronted. Effective engagement with China requires a thorough understanding of China’s behaviour, goals and strategies. This project will trace China’s evolution from accession to passive member to leading member of the WTO, including how this transformation impacted the WTO’s negotiations, decision-making and rules-based structures. China’s rise has been accompanied by a disruption to the social, political and economic status quo, facilitating a shift in geopolitical and geo-economic affairs. These consequences have created conditions which led to a breakdown of the WTO’s Doha Round of trade negotiations, institutional paralysis and trade conflict with the United States, Australia and now the European Union (EU). The project will also seek to understand and put into a wider context China’s WTO liberalization commitments, its subsequent behaviour and adherence to the international rules including compliance with adverse rulings of the WTO’s dispute settlement system. The working thesis of this project is that China takes its commitments seriously and continues to view the organization as a necessary avenue to its economic growth prospects and stability. For this reason, it is likely that China will seek to play a constructive role in any institutional reform efforts. This project will evaluate select areas of importance – industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises, intellectual property, digital trade and emerging green issues – and the likelihood of ‘landing zones’ – that is to say, compromise positions which would be acceptable to all major parties – where meaningful results can be achieved in WTO. Given the state of the WTO, these appear faint in the short term and therefore the project will also evaluate how countries may engage with China and seek to achieve positive outcomes both inside and outside the WTO.
該項目旨在加深對中國參與世界貿易組織 (WTO) ,對WTO的影響,及其在未來貿易關係和全球治理發展中的作用的了解。中國在許多方面都從加入WTO中受益匪淺,包括從世界第六大經濟體提升為第二大經濟體。在此過程中,中國既被世界貿易體系改造,也改造著世界貿易體系。如果要維護和進一步發展該體系,中國需要參與而不是被對抗。與中國的有效接觸需要對中國的行為、目標和戰略有透徹的了解。本項目將追溯中國從加入 WTO ,到被動成員,進而到領導成員的演變,包括這種轉變如何影響 WTO 的談判、決策和基於規則的結構。中國的崛起伴隨著對社會、政治和經濟現狀的改變,促進了地緣政治和地緣經濟事務的轉變。這些影響為導致WTO多哈回合貿易談判破裂、制度癱瘓以及與美國、澳大利亞以及現在的歐盟(EU)的貿易衝突的創造了條件。 該項目還將尋求了解中國的 WTO 自由化承諾、其隨後的行為和對國際規則的遵守情況,包括遵守 WTO 爭端解決機制的不利裁決,並將其置於更廣泛的背景下。該項目的工作論點是,中國認真對待其承諾,並繼續將該組織視為實現其經濟增長前景和穩定的必要途徑。基於這個原因,中國很可能會尋求在任何體制改革努力中發揮建設性作用。該項目將評估選定的重要領域—工業補貼和國有企業、知識產權、數字貿易和新興的環保問題—以及“著陸區”的可能性—也就是說,所有主要國家都可以接受的妥協立場—至此可以在WTO中取得有意義的成果。鑑於 WTO 的現狀,這些在短期內可能性不大,因此該項目還將評估各國如何與中國接觸,並尋求在 WTO 內外取得積極成果。
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