Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends WTO meeting in Tianjin, Premier Li backs free trade

Chinese Premier Li Qiang (R) meets with Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Tianjin, north China, June 26, 2023. /Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Monday reiterated the country’s support for free trade and rejection of protectionism during a meeting with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Tianjin.

China has always upheld the multilateral trading regime with the WTO at its core and fulfilled its WTO accession commitments, having itself developed and benefiting the world at the same time, said Li.

He added that China is ready to work with all parties to support multilateralism and free trade, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism.

The country is also willing to help promote progress in the reform of the WTO and uphold the position of the multilateral trading regime as the main channel for international rule-setting, said Li.

China will assume responsibilities and obligations in line with its level of economic development and capacity, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, said the premier.

Okonjo-Iweala, on her part, noted that China has kept opening itself up, supported the multilateral trading regime and made remarkable achievement in development since its accession to the WTO in 2001.

The WTO, she said, looks forward to building a strong partnership with China to make new contributions to advancing the body’s reform and maintaining the multilateral trading regime.

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