CHENG WANDONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) 20 years ago has proven to be a watershed economic event of the 21st century, changing the political-economic landscape not only of China but also of the world in his outfit.

China’s continued openness is the best way to celebrate its 20th anniversary of WTO membership, promote development and pay dividends to the world, despite the growing protectionism that threatens current global trade.

China is a trustworthy member of the WTO, has fully and effectively fulfilled its commitments to the organization, and has achieved wide recognition from the vast majority of WTO members.

In its determined efforts to achieve the WTO’s goal of ensuring that “trade takes place as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible”, the country’s overall tariff level fell to 7.4 percent from 15.3 percent in 2001, lower than the 9.8 percent promised by the country when it joined the WTO.

China has also widely opened up its market in the service sector, which has made Chinese consumers the growth engine of the world economy and one of the main engines of economic globalization.

Over the past two decades, China has experienced explosive economic growth, becoming the world’s second-largest economy from sixth when it joined the WTO. China now has the largest middle-income group in the world, with a population of over 400 million.

As a major player in the world economy, China today also plays a much more active role on the international stage, assuming responsibilities like a large country, sharing its experience with the rest of the world and contributing to global development. China’s proposed Global Development Initiative is the latest example.

China’s relentless pursuit of openness to the world has done more than simply embark on a path of healthy and sustainable development. The world as a whole has benefited from China’s openness and the opportunities offered by its gigantic economy.

China today is much more than a “world factory” where products made in China have brought the world a lot of convenience at a reasonable price. It has become an increasingly important “world market”.

Currently, China is the main trading partner of more than 120 countries and regions around the world. In 20 years, China has seen its total imports rise from US $ 240 billion in 2001 to US $ 2.1 trillion in 2020. Foreign companies have taken advantage of their presence in China, voting confidence to open China. with bigger bets.

Over the past two decades, China has contributed on average nearly 30% of global economic growth each year. Over the years, China has gradually become an integral and trusted link in the global supply chain. This status has been bolstered by the country’s efforts to promote equitable distribution of vaccines and stabilize the supply chain in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past two decades, China has also deepened its reforms and opened up to seize opportunities and challenges. In recent years, China has pursued a new form of high-level opening characterized by institutional and systemic opening.

In this regard, the country’s efforts include the implementation of pre-establishment national treatment, the shortening of the negative list of foreign investments, the establishment of free trade zones and the protection of intellectual property rights.

China’s accession to the WTO has enabled it to engage in international trade on an equal footing.

Twenty years later, as a global economic engine, China is determined to open its doors wider and promote win-win cooperation with the world.