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Li Keqiang Meets with WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
2021-12-04 18:04

On the afternoon of December 3, 2021, Premier Li Keqiang met with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala via video link at Ziguang Pavilion of Zhongnanhai leadership compound.

Li Keqiang congratulated Iweala on becoming the first female director general and the first director general from Africa in the history of the WTO. Li Keqiang said this year marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO. China has not only fulfilled its commitments made upon accession but has also been supporting the multilateral trading system with the WTO-centered and the rules-based multilateral trading system through practical actions. As the core institution of the multilateral trading system, the WTO plays an important role in fighting the pandemic, safeguarding multilateralism and adhering to free trade. China expects the WTO to continue to effectively consolidate forces and play a greater role.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China supports necessary reform of the WTO and advocates adherence to the principle of consensus through consultation, upholding the basic principles and core values of the WTO, safeguarding the authority and effectiveness of WTO rules, safeguarding the development rights and interests of members of developing countries, and narrowing the North-South gap, so as to make the WTO reform move in the right direction. China, as the world's largest developing country, will adhere to the principle of balancing rights and obligations at the WTO, will assume responsibilities consistent with the level and capacity of its own economic development, and is willing to actively participate in relevant WTO negotiations.

Iweala appreciates China's constructive role at the WTO, and thanks China for its great contributions to supporting African countries in the fight against the pandemic and economic development. Iweala said China has a great deal of useful experience from which developing countries can learn. The WTO hopes to strengthen communication and coordination with China, jointly advance the reform of the WTO and make positive contributions to the sound development of world trade.

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