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Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to (a) the EU and (b) her counterpart in Beijing on China's fulfilment of its World Trade Organisation commitments. (109088)

We want to encourage China to act as a responsible member of the international community and support its closer integration into the international system, including through multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO). To that end, Ministers raise WTO issues regularly in bilaterals with their Chinese counterparts, as indeed I did in July in my visit to China. Most recently, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry visited China from 26 to 30 November. He emphasised the need for China to play an active role in the current WTO round and to continue opening up its markets.

The WTO is an important pillar of the multilateral system and we encourage all WTO members to abide by their WTO obligations. At the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 11 to 12 December, EU Foreign Ministers adopted conclusions welcoming the Commission Communication “EU-China: Closer Partners, Growing Responsibilities” and the Commission working paper “Competition and Partnership”. The Commission documents stress the mutual benefits of enhanced trade and economic relations between the EU and China, and the importance of China fully implementing its WTO obligations. The UK worked with other member states to ensure that the Conclusions reflect our position.