Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-12-Speech-4-008"

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". Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, the question that I have the honour to present on behalf of the Committee on International Trade relates to the current state of our commercial relations with China. In summary, Mr President, we have reached the final phase of the Doha negotiations, which must be concluded in Chinese territory, in fact, with such decisive issues as the openness of its economy, the exchange rates of its currency and stability in a part of the world in which a very alarming arms race is taking place. Furthermore, China plays an important role in the Club of Twenty, which brings together some of the great tenors of the new world stage, and because of its history, because of its weight and also because the European Union has advocated that China should be incorporated into world trade, I believe that it makes sense at this point to ask these questions, taking the view that we are all in the same situation regardless of our specific characteristics, but that we must respect each other in order to survive together. As you know, China’s entry into the WTO in 2001, which Parliament supported, was the result of a laborious negotiation in which the European Union played a very important role. There were no precedents for the entry of a commercial partner whose rules were at such variance with the common system. We should remember that to join the WTO was an objective actively pursued by China for ten years, to which end it carried out a series of detailed concessions in all sectors, it committed itself to fulfilling all of its obligations and accepted the monitoring of that compliance. This has been expressed repeatedly by Chinese leaders, particularly since the policy implemented by Deng Xiaoping. So far, the predictions of generalised conflict with China have not come true. Nevertheless, recurrent problems arise in fields such as the protection of intellectual property — the fight against forgeries and counterfeits — the transparency of legislation, standardisation and certification, the openness of services, in particular financial services, telecommunications and transport, and numerous non-commercial obstacles, such as the CCC, the notorious China Compulsory Certification, which is almost impossible to obtain. The essential issue, however, is that China has to deal with a significant contradiction: to open up its markets and to protect its own industry, within a context in which rules such as the application of the ILO conventions on child labour, the establishment of free trade unions, etc. do not fall within the context of the WTO, but are important, as is environmental protection, and in this regard I would like to point out that China signed the Kyoto protocol two years ago now. We are currently in a situation in which it appears that China is operating extremely close to the limits of what may be acceptable. And the case of textiles, which other Members have mentioned, is an example of this, since it is affecting many countries and not just the European Union. I am not advocating that we call into question the decision taken on 1 January on total liberalisation, but rather that we examine, for example, the possible significance of a policy of dumping in terms of invading markets, how energy can be subsidised, how funding policy is being applied and whether there is privileged funding, etc. These are important issues. Another specific and very significant example is the recording industry, which is facing a very dramatic situation in Europe. At the moment, the majority of pirating, almost 70 %, takes place in China and much of it is taking place on the Internet. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to receive royalties, because structures do not even exist. In any event, I would like to point out that the European Union has supported China's integration into the world economy. This is a challenge for everybody that requires a process of economic and social reform on an unprecedented scale. China still has ten years to complete its transition to a market economy. In any event, it is the case that China has already moved from a centrally-planned economy to an economy which appears to be governed by Manchesterian capitalism led by Communist mandarins. It is for the Chinese to take charge of their own development, but it is important that we have control involving the greatest possible transparency and knowledge."@en1

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