China has appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to safeguard developing countries from what it says are coercive acts from more powerful members, Caixin reports. The move comes just days before world leaders convene in Buenos Aires for the G20 summit.
“The majority of [WTO] members, especially developing countries, should be able to participate in the reform process, rather than have a small group of members decide on the reforms,” said Wang Shouwen, Chinese vice minister of Commerce, at a WTO press conference.
The WTO must work to uphold its Dispute Settlement Body, Wang said, which is facing difficulties in appointing a new judge. The United States has blocked the reappointment of a DSB judge, leaving the bench short by one member.
This decision by the US is not simply related to its disputes with China, but represents “a disagreement between the US and all the other members of the WTO,” according to Wang.
The remarks come after the White House suggested that it might be beneficial for the organisation to eject China as a member, given that it has “misbehaved” in trade, one White House economic adviser commented on Wednesday.