CIGI Commentaries, May, 2011
In their first joint statement ever, BRICS directors at the IMF issue a challenge to European officials on the selection of the next IMF head. Coming on the eve of the G8 summit, this is the latest sign of the shift in global influence and the evolving global governance scenario.
China watchers will remember that just over a decade ago, there was no topic more hotly debated in China, or seen as more important to the country’s future, than the anticipated accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In a memorable 2001 article in The China Quarterly, Joseph Fewsmith wrote that: “Ironically, after years of fuming that the West was trying to keep China out of the trade body, the prospect of actually joining has set off a flurry of speculation over the impact on China’s economy and many have begun questioning the benefits of membership.” 10 years after China joined the WTO, the scenarios of gloom and doom have not come to pass. So, what did happen?
Prior to joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), the common perception in China was that the WTO and its forerunner, the GATT, belonged to “the Club of the Rich,” in which wealthy countries imposed rules on poor and weak developing countries. Now, the WTO is one of the most widely recognized international organizations within China, along with the United Nations (UN), the World Bank and some specialized agencies of the UN, such as the World Health Organization.