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Chinese president urges bigger role of WTO
2013/09/05

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday urged the World Trade Organization (WTO) to play a bigger role in safeguarding and consolidating a multilateral trade mechanism.

Xi made the call when meeting with Roberto Azevedo, WTO's new director-general, ahead of the Group of 20 summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

The Chinese president said the multilateral trade mechanism, with the WTO at its core, laid the foundation for trade liberalization and facilitation, adding that the mechanism cannot be replaced by any regional arrangement.

An open, fair and transparent multilateral trade mechanism conforms to the common interests of all countries, Xi said.

He stressed that regional trade arrangements should also abide by the principles of transparency and inclusiveness, and that they should serve to supplement and boost multilateral trade rules.

China hopes Azevedo could lead the WTO to actively push the Doha round of global trade talks, firmly oppose trade protectionism and boost liberalization and facilitation of global trade, Xi said.

China is a staunch supporter of the multilateral trade mechanism, and will continue to be a responsible member of the WTO, he added.

Azevedo extended his appreciation for China's support, saying the WTO hopes to strengthen cooperation with China to push the Doha round, fight against trade protectionism and safeguard the multilateral trade mechanism.

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