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Sino-British co-operation to shape new international economic order

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

10-22-2015 16:25 BJT

By Niu Zhongdong, Lecturer in Law at Edinburgh Napier University, UK

The world's deepest economic recession since the World War II appears to be nearing an end.  Protectionism measures were implemented by many countries as a convenient tool to get out of the recession.

Accordingly, hopes for further liberalization of international trade and services, as promoted by the WTO, is doomed. The Doha Round of negotiations has suffered a set-back on account of further attempts to establish regional trading blocs.

On Oct. 5, 12 Pacific-Rim countries, led by the US, signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that has led to an acceleration on EU-US negotiations for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Despite regional trade agreements intended to promote the free movement of goods and services within the regions, they also enforce trade barriers for outsiders, such as China and other emerging markets.

There are concerns about the possible trade transfer from the countries outside of the blocs to the countries inside and the consequent transfer of investment, which could destabilize the existing word trade order.

The global trade system administered by WTO law is under the threat of fragmented regional trade arrangements.  One by-product of the global economic crisis was the introduction of new WTO trade regulations.

With the international economic order getting re-structured, Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the United Kingdom - Oct. 19 -23 comes in a timely manner, while both countries must grapple with their national interest and global governance.

Beijing should expand its free trade zone across the Asia-Europe continent to hedge against the TPP and TTIP and to drive progress on Doha Round negotiations.

Despite the Chinese enthusiasm for negotiating with the EU on an investment protection agreement and a free trade agreement, many EU countries have shown reluctance on their part.

Facing an increase of competition from Asia in the manufacturing sectors, EU companies fear more transfer of production-lines and employment headed to China.

The EU opposes the elimination of existing protective measures such as tariffs. They call for stronger technical standards and transparency on trade policies.

Chinese companies market competitiveness will be increased anyways due to upgrades on its productivity.  Mutual benefits can be gained from a free trade pact that favors EU exports to China.

China has over 100 million middle class consumers, who are attracted to high-quality goods and services from abroad.

A free trade agreement with China will give Europe an edge over Japanese and US companies. Given its unique position in international politics and the EU, the UK can play a vital role in reaching out to China.

Over the last three hundred years the UK has embraced and pioneered economic liberalism to fortify the UK's status as a key player for a free international trade order. The UK is a driving force for free trade and fair competition in Europe.

Facing calls for the UK's withdrawal from the EU, ongoing negotiations on its relations with the EU do reflect the UK’s long-history of a liberal political and economic tradition.

Co-operation with China can strengthen the UK’s position within the EU, and to shape the landscape for a new global economic order that would serve the UK’s national interest.

With the prospects of China overtaking the US as the world's biggest economy in less than ten years, a world economic order cannot be stable if China and other emerging countries are excluded.

An EU-China free trade agreement is an essential brick for this edifice.  Xi's UK visit is expected to symbolize the start of this endeavor.

( Courtesy to: 1The UK CHINESE TIMES is a Chinese language weekly newspaper, was founded by Dr. Mingliang CHEN in 2003 in the UK. The newspaper's intention is to report both UK and Chinese stories and reach an educated, opinion forming audience within the Chinese speaking community. )


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.



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