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张向晨大使:中国作为贸易大国始终实事求是

星岛环球网消息:海外网10月14日电 在当地时间10月13日举行的世贸组织(WTO)总理事会上,中国大使张向晨与美国大使谢伊围绕美国提交的两份提案再次展开激辩。张向晨大使指出,中国始终十分克制地使用特殊与差别待遇条款,从未像美方所述的那样,“要求与贝宁、利比里亚、肯尼亚或巴基斯坦享受一样的优惠待遇”。相反,我们知道自己作为一个贸易大国所应承担的责任,始终实事求是,根据自身实际能力作出贡献。

张向晨大使中英文发言如下:

一、张向晨大使关于发展中国家特殊与差别待遇(议程第六项)的发言

感谢主席先生。

我多次讲过,就发展中国家的分类标准进行辩论毫无意义,因为这本身就是系统性和方向性的错误。发展是世贸组织的一项重要目标,也是吸引如此多成员加入这个组织的一个重要原因。作为成员,我们应将精力集中在如何确保使发展这个理念落到实处。

具体而言,我们应共同探讨如何使现有的特殊与差别待遇条款得到有效实施,并在渔业补贴等具体谈判中向有需要的发展中成员提供有意义的特殊与差别待遇。对于现有的特殊与差别待遇条款,应确保有特殊需要的发展中成员真正从中受益并全面融入多边贸易体制。

主席先生,我们做了一个初步统计,在现行16个WTO协定155个特殊与差别待遇条款中,至少有105条过于宽泛而不具可操作性,占比高达67.7%;剩余50条中,有至少25条为过渡期或技术援助条款。也就是说,现有协定中直接关乎成员权利和义务的特殊与差别待遇条款(25条)仅占全部条款的16.1%。应当说绝大部分条款只能是画饼充饥,但却被一些成员描绘成无所不能的空白支票。

使特殊与差别待遇条款更加“精确、有效、可操作”是成员的长期共识,也是世贸组织一揽子协定的承诺。这也正是发展中国家要求讨论200多项“执行议题”,以解决乌拉圭回合遗留的规则不平衡问题的初衷,G90成员基于此提交了提案。在这个问题上,我完全赞成南非大使刚刚的发言。事实上,回顾过去20年的历史,G90成员已经做了很大的妥协,将多哈回合88项诉求减少到内罗毕的25项以及布宜诺斯艾利斯的10项,表明了推进谈判的最大诚意和克制态度。G90成员大幅缩减其诉求,不是因为他们的诉求不对,而是他们真诚希望所有成员真诚参与磋商。

在这10项要求中,有些是为了弥补原有条款存在的缺陷,如提案对启用GATT第18条的程序性安排作出规定;有些是要求恢复多边规则中一些好的做法,如对最不发达国家和有困难的发展中成员恢复《补贴与反补贴措施协定》第8条所规定的不可诉补贴。有些是要求给有需要的发展中成员更长的过渡期和评议期,如现行SPS措施发展中成员可争取到90天评议期,G90提案提出能力缺失的成员可以有180天;有些是敦促发达成员履行已经承诺的义务,如在技术转让方面。G90成员耐心地以口头和书面方式回答了成员提出的所有问题,但令人失望的是,有人却执意拒绝参与讨论,谈判未能取得进展。

主席先生,世贸组织是基于规则的机构。要重振人们对这一组织的信心,最根本的是对既有规则的敬畏和对先前承诺的履行。确保特殊与差别待遇“更加精确、有效、可操作”是我们的明确承诺和尚未完成的使命,是我们在发展领域最亟需开展的工作。我呼吁所有成员都拿出诚意,实质性地参与G90提案的讨论,认真回应发展中国家的关切,而不是把时间和精力花在没有结果的争论上。

主席先生,由于中国的问题被提及,我想就此做一评论。中国反对讨论发展中国家分类问题,并不是因为我们想要享受与弱小国家和LDC一样的特殊与差别待遇,而只是为了维护我们所享有的这一基本的制度性权利。

在实际操作层面,根据中国加入WTO协定,中国实际仅享受14个具体的S&DT条款,占全部155条的9%。在这14个条款中,6个是传统上发达国家应履行的“义务”,如应请求应提供WTO官方语言的文件,仅有8个是实实在在的所谓“权利”(如部分产品关税相对较高)。

即便如此,中国始终十分克制地使用特殊与差别待遇条款。显然我们从未像美方所述的那样,“要求与贝宁、利比里亚、肯尼亚或巴基斯坦享受一样的优惠待遇”,相反,我们知道自己作为一个贸易大国所应承担的责任,始终实事求是,根据自身实际能力作出贡献。正如在《信息技术协定》扩围谈判中所做的,中国成为谈判的最大贡献者,我们在未来的谈判中也将继续尽自己最大的努力。

谢谢主席先生。

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I have repeated many times that, the debate on criteria to differentiate developing members is totally meaningless, as it is a systematic and directional mistake. Development is one of the key objectives of the WTO, which is also an important attraction for many countries choosing to join in this Organization. As WTO members, our focus on development should be on how to translatethe concept of development into practice rather than anything else.

To be specific, our collective efforts should be focused on how to effectively enforce the existing special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions, and negotiate meaningful S&DT for the developing members, for example in the fisheries subsidy negotiations. For the existing S&DT provisions, there should be assurance that developing members in need could truly benefit from and fully integrate into the multilateral trading system.

Mr. Chairman, we did a preliminary review on the current 155 S&DT provisions contained in the 16 WTO agreements, finding that at least 105 provisions are too vague to operate, accounting for 67.7%; for the remaining 50 provisions, at least half of them are related to transitional period or technical assistance. So, there are only 25 S&DT provisions in existing WTO agreements that are directly linked to individual Members’ rights and obligations, accounting for 16.1% of the total. It is therefore fair to say, the overwhelming majority of current S&DT provisions are only pie in the sky. There has never been an almighty blank check.

It is a long-standing consensus to make S&DT provisions more “precise, effective, and operational”, which is also a commitment across WTO Agreements. That is the very reason why developing members requested to discuss more than 200 “Implementation Issues” aiming at rebalancing the imbalanced rules from the Uruguay Round, and G90 put forward their written proposals. I fully endorse the statement made by the Ambassador of South Africa. Actually, recalling the past 20 years, G90 has been compromising by reducing their 88 original requests, to 25 in Nairobi, and to 10 in Buenos Aires, demonstrating their utmost sincerity and restraint. Such reduction is not because their request was wrong, rather it is because they do hope all Members could be engaged and thus show flexibility.

For the current 10 proposals, some are to fill the loopholes of existing provisions, such as proposing procedural arrangement to invoke Article 18 of GATT; some are to restore good practices in multilateral rules, such as treating subsidies granted by LDCs and developing members facing certain constraints as non-actionable subsidies according to Article 8 of ASCM; some are to allow developing members to have longer time-frames for transitions or comments, such as granting 180 days for members facing capacity constraints to make comments on SPS measures notified by developed members, whereas the current practice is 90 days; some are to urge developed members to honor their already-committed obligations, including technology transfer. G90 has made comprehensive responses both orally and in writing to all questions from members on their proposals. However, no progress has been made due to certain Members’ reluctance to engage.

Mr. Chairman, the WTO is a rule-based organization. If we want to win back people’s confidence in this organization, the most fundamental thing is to treat existing rules and implement promised commitments, with respect and awe. To make existing S&DT provisions “more precise, effective and operational” is the clear commitment and unfinished mission of all members, which is also the most urgent task in the area of development. I call upon all members to show our sincerity by meaningfully engaging in the discussion of the G90 proposal and carefully responding to practical concerns of developing members, rather than wasting time and resources on no outcome debates.

Mr. Chairman, since China was mentioned specifically, I would like to make a comment to respond. China standing against to the differentiation of developing members does not mean we want to enjoy the same favorable treatment as small economies and LDCs. What we want is only to safeguard our institutional right of S&DT.

In practice, according to our accession agreement, China has 14 specific S&DT provisions among all 155 articles, accounting only for 9%. Among the 14, 6 provisions are traditionally “obligations” of the developed members, such as providing translations of documents in WTO official languages upon request, only 8 provisions are so called meaningful “rights”, such as relatively higher tariffs for certain goods.

Even in such circumstances, China always shows restraint in invoking S&DT provisions. Obviously, China did not request to have the same S&DT as Benin, Liberia, Kenya or Pakistan, which was proclaimed by the United States. On the contrary, as a large trading nation, we recognize the responsibility China should bear. Our approach is to address different issues according to their specific situations and make contributions within our capability. As we did in the ITA expansion negotiations, China is the largest contributor among all the participants. We will continue to do that in the future.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

二、张向晨大使关于市场导向条件(议程第七项)的发言

主席先生,

毫无疑问,多边贸易体制是建立在市场经济基础之上的,WTO的所有规则都反映了市场经济的通行做法,是成员们所应遵循的准则。同样毫无疑问的是,四十年来,中国的改革开放始终朝着市场化的方向前进,这正是我们加入WTO的基础和坚定支持多边贸易体制的原因。

我们现在面临的挑战不是《马拉喀什宣言》说的什么,而是一些成员正在做的。顺便说一句,提到《马拉喀什宣言》,当我们说到“开放和市场导向政策”时,我们不能忘记宣言第5段“部长们忆及谈判结果包含给予发展中国家差别和更优惠待遇的规定,包括对最不发达国家的特殊情况所给予的特别关注”。这些话同等重要,遗憾的是现在有些成员选择性地失忆了。

我不想重复我上次说过的“市场导向这样的常识问题无需在总理事会上讨论”的话。曾在伯尔尼工作过的科学家爱因斯坦说过,“成功=艰苦劳动+正确方法+少说空话”。中国人自古就相信“清谈误国”。我的问题是,这个提案想到达什么目的,有什么后续措施?更使我感到困惑的是,此时此刻,如果我们不能阻止一个成员政府以任意的方式,强迫外国企业把自己的股份和技术卖给本国企业,我们怎么好意思坐在这里堂而皇之地讨论什么市场导向的条件呢?

主席先生,三年多来,我们没有能够采取有效的措施,制止破坏市场规则的单边保护主义措施在全球肆虐,我们所工作的这个组织为此广受外界诟病,我们应当感到羞愧。但是,至少我们还可以争辩,那不是因为我们不想,而是因为我们能力不够。而现在,我们何必要通过空谈市场导向条件而授人以柄,让别人嘲笑我们这里的人,不仅无能而且幼稚可笑呢?

当一项原则或一个体系失灵时,我们应该采取具体行动去修复它,而不能仅仅是在口头上反复强调规则的重要性和正确性,以展示那些破坏规则的人的无辜。

谢伊大使曾说过,“当国家将拇指甚至拳头按在天平上扭曲竞争,以达到有利于部分国内主体的结果时,不公就出现了”。我完全赞同他的说法。但是,让别人做到的事,首先要自己做到。

我想给大家举的例子是,当一国动辄以国家安全为由加征关税或剥夺外国企业服务准入时,不公就出现了;当一国以加征关税为筹码,逼迫他国在贸易谈判中让步时,市场就被扭曲了;当一国一边违反规则,一边阻挠多边裁决时,公平竞争就不存在了。空喊“市场导向条件”,不如采取具体行动,解决上述破坏公平竞争和市场导向条件的错误做法。

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

It is true that the multilateral trading system is built on the basis of market economy, and all the WTO rules reflect the prevailing practices of market economy and are binding on all Members. There is also no doubt that in the past 40 years, China persistently deepens its reform and opening up to the world in the direction of market economy, which is exactly the basis of our accession to the WTO and the reason for our firm support for the multilateral trading system.

However, the challenge we are facing is not what Marrakesh Declaration says, but what some Members are doing. By the way, with regard to Marrakesh Declaration, when we talk about open and market-oriented policies, we should not forget Article 5, which I quote “Ministers recall that the results of the negotiations embody provisions conferring differential and more favorable treatment for developing economies, including special attention to the particular situation of least-developed countries”. Those words are equally important. Unfortunately, now some Members have selective amnesia.

I have no intention to repeat what I have said at the previous meeting that “common sense issues like market orientation do not need to be discussed at the General Council”, and simply dismiss the whole discussion. Albert Einstein, a scientist who had worked in Bern, once said, “Success is equal to hard work plus correct method plus less empty talk”. Chinese people have also believed in “empty talks harm the country” since ancient times. So, my questions are: what is the purpose of this proposal? what are the follow-up measures to be taken in the next step? What puzzles me even more is that, at this moment, if we cannot prevent a Member’s government from forcing foreign companies to sell their equities and technology to its national companies in any way, how can we sit here comfortably and discuss and tell the world what the market orientated conditions are?

Mr. Chairman, we need to bear in mind that for more than three years, we have failed to take effective actions to stop unilateralist and protectionist measures that undermine the market rules from raging around the world, and this organization we work for has been widely criticized for falling short of such actions. We should feel ashamed. However, at least, we could still argue that it is not because we do not want to, but because we are not capable enough. But now, why should we talk empty about the market-oriented conditions to give more reasons for the international community to laugh at us, for being not only incapable, but also naive?

When a principle or a system is broken, what we should do is to take concrete actions to try to fix it rather than verbally repeating the importance and correctness of the rules to show the innocence of someone who broke the rules.

Ambassador Shea once said that “when the state puts its thumb – or even its fist – on the scale to distort competition and drive preferred outcomes to benefit certain domestic actors, that is unfair.” I couldn’t agree with him more about that. But it is a common sense that if you ask others to do something, you should do it first.

Let me give you some specific examples. When a country, on the grounds of national security, arbitrarily and frequently imposes tariffs on foreign goods or deprives foreign services of market access, that is unfair. When a country uses tariffs as a leverage to force its trading partners to concede in trade negotiations, the market is distorted. When a country blatantly violates fundamental trade rules and at the same time blocks the independent and neutral adjudications, the level playing field is gone. Instead of chanting the empty slogan of “market-oriented conditions”, it’s better for us to take concrete actions to address the above wrongful practices which undermine the fair competition and market-oriented conditions.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.