A Foreign Ministry spokesperson on December 9 said that China will work with the overwhelming majority of World Trade Organization (WTO) members who share a common goal to continue addressing the challenges facing the WTO Appellate Body.
Spokesperson Hua Chunying's remarks came as the dispute settlement body of the WTO, particularly its Appellate Body, is facing a potential crisis. At least three judges are needed to hear an appeal. Since the terms of two of the three remaining judges will expire on Dec. 10 and the United States has blocked the nomination of new judges, the Appellate Body will be unable to hear new disputes after that date.
"This will make the dispute settlement mechanism unable to operate normally, seriously undermining the authority and effectiveness of multilateral trading regime," Hua said at a routine press conference, adding that such a move is condemned by most other WTO members.
Hailing the dispute settlement mechanism as one of the three pillars of the WTO, Hua said that China firmly supports the multilateral trading regime and has been committed to breaking the stalemate of the nomination issue of the Appellate Body.
China has submitted a proposal on launching the nomination process of the Appellate Body with 115 WTO members, as well as a proposal on the reform of the Appellate Body with 40 members including the European Union, according to Hua.
Despite the crisis facing the Appellate Body of the WTO, the efforts by all sides to safeguard the multilateral trading regime will not stop, and a solution to maintaining the running of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is being studied, Hua said.