When China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, people believed that the accession would be good for both China and the world. It would be good for China because the country would enjoy lower tariff rates. It would be good for the world because, in theory, the accession would bring more economic and political freedoms to the Chinese people and help transform China from communism to capitalism. In the two decades since, China has harnessed the opportunities that came from its WTO membership and achieved phenomenal growth in both its trade and economy.
In this video, Henry Gao explains why Western governments are concerned that China — in an effort to achieve incredible growth — employed problematic practices and market manipulations. To help mitigate these concerns, Gao believes that the WTO must create a system that is fair to both China and the rest of the world.