China firmly opposes trade protectionism and would not turn to trade protectionism, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said here Tuesday morning.
China is firmly opposed to protectionism and would vigorously promote the Doha round of trade talks, Chen said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's legislative body.
"All nations attending the G20 Washington Summit stated against trade protectionism. But in practice, protectionism is still gradually gaining ground," he said.
Chen noted that a distinction must be made between trade protection measures permitted within the WTO framework and outright trade protectionism.
"A country is allowed to use some trade protection measures during a financial crisis, when its industrial and agricultural products are impacted," he said.
However, he said unchecked misuse of allowed trade protection measures would amount to protectionism and should be contained.
"As part of their economy stimulus plans, some countries resorted to buying its own native goods, or banning import of certain goods from a certain country without justified reasons. These are serious tendencies toward trade protectionism, and should not be tolerated," Chen said.
He urged countries to strengthen international cooperation, to use multilateral rules observed in common to prevent trade protectionism, and to fairly and justly promote the Doha round of trade talks to a successful conclusion.
(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2009)