Government responds to questions about China’s developing nation status at the World Trade Organisation and strategic dependency on China

Oct 14, 2020 | Uncategorized

Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the response by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 29 September (HL Deb, cols GC49), what plans they have to initiate a national review of strategic dependency on China; what assessment they have made of China’s developing nation status at the World Trade Organisation; and what plans they have, if any, to make representations to change that status.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – We have a policy of engagement with China and our approach will remain consistent even if difficulties emerge.

As we engage we will always protect our national interests and hold China to its international commitments and promises.

Our approach also continues to underline our international leadership in promoting free trade, and our belief in the benefits that free trade brings.

There is a broader debate at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regarding the methodology for awarding Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) to developing countries.

As it currently stands there is no objective criteria for defining developing countries at the WTO and members are able to ‘self-designate’ as developing.

The UK continues to engage on this topic at the WTO. We maintain the view that SDT should be awarded on a case-by-case, needs-based basis in the context of each WTO negotiation.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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