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China's Experience in Dealing with WTO Dispute Settlement: A Chinese Perspective
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The year 2009 witnessed the rise of China as one of the major players in World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement since it alone accounted for half of the fourteen new WTO disputes initiated in that year. This paper examines China's growing involvement in major WTO dispute settlement activities and concludes that China's participation has been a gradually evolving process. This article explains that China's defensive and offensive positions are generally balanced and argues that China seems to approach WTO disputes on a case-by-case basis rather than by applying any preset litigation avoidance strategy. When faced with negative rulings, China has so far been quite restrained in its reactions and has generally maintained a good record of compliance, but China's future behaviour in this regard may not always be as consistently positive. As to overall performance, this paper demonstrates that China's record has been typical of the bigger WTO Members. Finally, it would be unfair to assess this record only with reference to the global ranking of China's trade volumes and economic size while ignoring China's short period of WTO membership and lack of historical experience in international dispute settlement proceedings.

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