China and the WTO: Why Multilateralism Still Matters

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  • March 2022
    Book Review

    After rounds of marathon negotiations, China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 was a win-win for both China and the architects of the liberal market economy. For China, the accession provided unrestricted access to the market of member-countries and for the West, the attraction was partly the business opportunities for global conglomerates in China and the naïve expectations that China would transform itself to a liberal market economy by joining WTO. Instead, after 20 years, the US and China—two largest members of WTO—are engaged in an interminable trade war, paralysing the Appellate Body of the WTO. Scholars and experts have different explanations for the clash that may disassemble one of the liberal multilateral institutions of the post-World War era.