China has made tremendous progress in economic and trade growth since its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) a decade ago, said Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky, a former U.S. trade representative.
For China, the gains of its accession into the WTO were "evident" in terms of its "remarkable strides" in industrialization, modernization, GDP growth and its role in the global trading system, Barshefsky told Xinhua in a recent interview in Washington, D.C.
"The WTO accession for China was no small thing," said the former top U.S. negotiator in China's WTO bid, adding that it helped the country to strengthen its economy and demonstrate its will to be part of the global system.
China officially entered the WTO on Dec. 11, 2001 after years of tough negotiations, becoming the 143rd member of the global institution.
The accession and what happened after that helped China speak the "same language" economically as other countries and observe the same rules, and the enhanced transparency has enabled countries to better understand each other and forge closer ties, Barshefsky said.
A common economic language, aspiration and view were "extremely powerful" for the prosperity of various nations, she commented.
As for the mounting competition brought to the Chinese market by the WTO accession, Barshefsky held that global competition was helpful to China, as it made the country clear about its strengths and weaknesses.
"I believe in competition. Competition makes companies better, and makes people smarter," she said, adding that healthy competition facilitated innovation, success and growth.
The U.S. gains from China's WTO entry were also "evident," as Beijing got more interested in global standards in policymaking and built a "better and more reliable" partnership with Washington, Barshefsky said.
Commonality of economic interests was driving greater cohesion, which had served as a stabilizer for global community, she said, adding that China's accession made the WTO a more complete system.
Barshefsky, who frequently travels to China in recent years, said the "magnitude and rapidity" of China's economic changes had beaten the expectations of many economists and herself.
She contended that the aim of open trade policy and economic integration was to increase the size of the economic pie and enhance the living standards globally, and China, as well as other emerging countries, had become important global "pie-makers" which will also benefit the next generation.
"There are ample statistics demonstrating that countries that open and liberalize their economies are far wealthier and more stable than countries that do not," she said.
The benefit of economic integration was quite clear. The economic reemergence of China had brought changes to the trade structure in Asia and many other countries, and even to the global economic landscape, Barshefsky said.