(Yicai Global) March 27 -- The World Trade Organization must be reshaped in order to better handle trade disputes, according to the former governor of the People's Bank of China.
An imbalance in trade has limited the role of the WTO and led to problems in its Dispute Settlement Body, which indicates that the WTO lacks efficiency as a decision-making body and it needs to be reformed, Zhou Xiaochuan said at the Boao Forum for Asia, serving as a vice chairman for the high-level political conference.
The Chinese government is very willing to speed up the reform process to eliminate some distortions, while some misunderstandings between the outside world and China need to be clarified, Zhou said.
"China must embrace criticism from the outside world," Zhou said. "I think some of it is quite useful and can help promote decision-making, accelerate the process of reform and opening-up, and boost China's involvement in the global economy."
Since China became a member of the WTO, it has undergone many reforms, including canceling government subsidies in order to integrate the domestic pricing system with the international one, Zhou said, adding that this shows how joining the WTO and promoting free trade with the world has also been meaningful to China's own reforms.
The former chief who governed the central bank for 16 years urged the international trade body to balance inequality. The WTO should help low-income economies to develop and benefit from the global trading system, Zhou said.
"If we can't promote the WTO reform successfully, its dispute settlement mechanism and other functions may not work properly," Zhou said, adding that the discussion about how to improve the WTO's ability to solve disputes may continue at this year's G20 summit that will be held in Japan in June.
Editor: Emmi Laine