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Week of February 21, 2003

Week of February 21, 2003

The U.S. and China This Week


INTERNATIONAL: China's One-Year WTO Membership Assessed Positively

Top U.S. trade officials gave The People's Republic of China a mostly positive assessment of its first year as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). United States trade representative, Robert Zoellick, praised China's efforts at lowering tariffs, making its regulations more understandable and transparent and granting more licenses to foreign insurers and other financial services companies. There are still major problems with the protection of Intellectual property rights in China, though some modest progress has been made.

China joined the WTO in November of 2001 amid concerns that lowering tariffs and conforming to international trade standards might cripple the Chinese economy and damage its trade surplus. China did run a trade deficit this January for the first time since 1996, but analysts are blaming it on a seasonal aberration and China's trade surplus has actually expanded with many countries in the last year and the Chinese economy continues to push forward.

According to James Thompson, the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, "The overall mood is one of 'better than we expected, so far so good. "

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INTERNATIONAL: U.S.-China Talks on Cooperation Against Terrorism "Fruitful"

On February 18th through 20th in Beijing, United States and Chinese officials expanded upon the consensus for medium and long-term exchanges and cooperation between the two sides on the effort against terrorism with a third round of talks on terrorism.

Interdepartmental delegations from Beijing and Washington reached agreements on multiple issues surrounding terrorism including international and regional terrorist concerns, financial terrorism and other fields. The U.S. and China unanimously agreed that increased cooperation against terrorism would better international anti-terrorist activities and improve bilateral ties.

The meetings were characterized as "positive, pragmatic, and fruitful." The United States also invited the Chinese delegation to attend a fourth round of talks to be held later this year.

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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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