China calls on EU to fulfill obligations under Beijing's WTO accession protocol

BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — China hopes the European Union can fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in due time, a senior diplomat said on Monday.

“These are the EU’s international obligations and promises,” said Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Haixing at a press briefing on the upcoming visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Kyrgyzstan, Latvia and Russia.

During his stay in Latvia, Li will attend the Fifth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (16+1) in Riga.

Stressing that China has fulfilled its promises since it entered the WTO in 2001, Liu said the EU has obligations to keep its promises, too.

“We hope the EU can neatly and cleanly fulfill its WTO obligations without any additional conditions by Dec. 11. We will wait and see,” Liu told reporters.

WTO obligations require the EU to end its “surrogate country system” by Dec. 11, 2016, under which costs of production in a third country are used to calculate the value of products from non-market economies.

When asked whether China will “press” central and eastern European countries on the issue, Liu said China “will not press the 16 countries but negotiate with them.”

“As there are 11 EU members among the 16 central and eastern European countries, these countries will certainly state their stances within the EU, ” said Liu.

“We hope they will make the right decision and prompt the EU to fulfill the obligations in due time,” he added.

As for granting China market economy status, Liu said China holds that Article 15 of China’s WTO accession is unrelated to the issue of China’s market economy status.

“The status of market economy is a political decision. There is no international standard for this,” Liu added.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Oct. 21 after a two-day EU summit that the EU member states “have to” comply with Article 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the WTO.

Currently, the EU is China’s biggest trading partner, while China is the EU’s second largest trading partner after the

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