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China dismisses developed nations' accusations in WTO talks as "groundless"(07/29/08)


   GENEVA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese delegation on Monday dismissed as "groundless" the accusations made by some developed countries regarding China's position in the ongoing Doha Round of trade talks here.

    The rebuttal came after some major developed countries said the current deadlock should be attributed to China's demand for sheltering sensitive agriculture goods like cotton, rice and sugar from deep tariff cut and its reservation over sectorial liberalization.

    The Chinese have dismissed the charges as "groundless."

    Responding to the criticism, China's Commerce Minister and head of its delegation to the Doha Round, Chen Deming, said major developed countries were the biggest beneficiaries of the talks as they set aside a large space for farm subsidies.

    Developed countries need to fully understand the core concerns of developing nations and should not hinder the settlement of these problems, said Chen.

    On industrial liberalization, he said the related parties should abide by the principle of participation on willingness.

    Many countries such as India, Indonesia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia have voiced support for the Chinese stance.

    Ministers from over 30 major WTO member states have been engaged in crucial trade talks here since last Monday, aimed at bridging lingering divergences on farming and industrial sectors in a bid to wrap up the long-stalled Doha Round this year.

    WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy on Wednesday invited ministers from China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, Australia, India and Brazil to hold small-scale consultations.

    Though convergence was observed in the past week of talks, an agreement is still far from being reached as a series of disputes remain unresolved and could undermine the perceived progress.

    Chen appealed to all parties, especially the developed countries, to assume responsibility and strive to seek a compromise proposal acceptable to all.

    The small-scale ministerial meeting was originally scheduled to end Saturday, but it has been postponed until at least Tuesday or Wednesday, due to sharp differences.



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