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Statement by H.E. Ambassador ZHANG Xiangchen at the Informal WTO Ministerial Gathering
Davos, 24 January 2020

Thanks, Mr Chairman.

Today is the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Like the Singapore Minister mentioned, 2020 is the year of the rat, which is quick-witted and resourceful. With the blessings of this year’s zodiac animal, I do hope in 2020 we can find a way to tackle the challenges facing the WTO.

Like most Members, China is deeply concerned about the paralysis of the Appellate Body. China would welcome and engage in any efforts that could help swiftly restore a fully operational Appellate Body. Nevertheless, before a permanent solution can be found, we have to face the reality by securing an interim alternative at the earliest, so that Members’ disputes would be properly addressed. In this regard, China co-sponsors the joint statement and calls upon others to join it.

As for MC12, the world is watching. We should strive for a fruitful Nur Sultan Ministerial, which could showcase the value and relevance of this organization in the global governance. However, time is not on our side. It is necessary to take a pragmatic and realistic approach by investing our limited resources on issues of interest to Members, with a higher level of maturity, such as fisheries subsidies, domestic regulation in services, as well as the joint statement initiatives, investment facilitation for development, electronic-commerce, etc. We would like to welcome the Philippines to join the initiative on Investment Facilitation for Development, as the 99th participant. I wonder who will be the 100th.

On fishery subsidies, China is glad to see the progress on the prohibition of subsidies for IUU fishing and fishing of overfished stocks. A balanced text in due time would be of great help to facilitate the negotiations. We also note that the principles on overcapacity and overfishing acquired little consensus yet. China remains committed to working with other Members to find a landing zone soon.

Thank you.