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Geneva, 20 July 2001
Meeting of the Working Party on the accession of China

Summing Up by the Chairman, Amb. Pierre-Louis Girard (Switzerland)

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> Statement by H.E. Vice Minister LONG Yongtu, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the seventeenth session of the Working Party on China

  

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I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Delegation of China and Members of the Working Party to this 17th Meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of China.

In the course of informal meetings this week, we have been able to conclude work on almost all elements of China's accession package. This is indeed welcome news and all concerned are to be heartily congratulated for their untiring efforts and resulting success.

Let me briefly summarize what we have achieved.

First, in regard to the Draft Working Party Report, we have reached agreement on a final, comprehensive text, ready for adoption. Only one point, in the area of services, remains.

Turning to the Draft Protocol of Accession, here, too, we have completed our work. In addition, newly revised and updated annexes were submitted to the Working Party by China, and these in the areas of State Trading, Non-Tariff Measures, Price Controls and Export Duties. After multilateral examination, these revised annexes were approved by the Working Party. Consensus was also reached on a revised annex dealing with Information for the Transitional Review Mechanism. The only annex on which a small amount of work remains to be done is that dealing with Reservations by WTO Members. It is my expectation that this annex will be completed in the coming days.

Finally, there is the issue of China's Goods and Services Schedules. With the background work done this week, the Secretariat will now be in a position to circulate both draft Schedules, in accordance with normal accession procedures, by the end of this month. These Schedules should be examined by Members of the Working Party and China for technical verification. Proposals for technical corrections, if any, should be received by the Secretariat no later than 10 August for onward transmission to Members of the Working Party and China.

To conclude, this 17th Working Party has allowed us to virtually complete our consideration and approval of all aspects of China's accession package. It is clear that this outcome could not have occurred without your tremendous efforts and unwavering dedication to this process.

The Secretariat will shortly issue revised drafts of the Working Party Report and Protocol of Accession, including all Annexes. We should then plan to come back to Geneva for a final session of the Working Party in September. At this stage, I can already confirm that we will meet in the week of 10 September. Nearer the time, I will inform you of the precise arrangements for the meeting. If we can keep to this tight schedule, and I certainly hope that we can, Ministers should then be able to gavel the terms of China's entry into the WTO at Doha this coming November.