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Don't politicize trade disputes, says China's former deputy trade minister

2010-04-09 09:07 BJT

Special Report: 2010 Boao Forum For Asia |

Special Report: Yuan Not to Blame for Trade Surplus |

BOAO, Hainan, April 8 (Xinhua) -- All nations should avoid politicizing trade protectionism as it will lead to eye-for-an-eye retaliation and unreasonable trade wars, China's former deputy trade minister Long Yongtu has said.

"Policies that violate WTO (World Trade Organization) rules to meet domestic political needs must be opposed," Long, Secretary-General of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), wrote in the official publication for the BFA's annual meeting which will officially open here on Saturday.

Not all trade policies are protectionist, as long as the anti-dumping and anti-subsidies measures are in line with WTO rules, said Long.

"If protectionist measures do arise, they should be handled calmly and rationally," Long said.

"We need to make sure trade barriers never spill over into sectors such as investment, services or finance. This would create far more serious problems," he said.

Long acknowledged the importance of transforming the pattern of economic growth in China, but he added that labor-intensive manufacturing is still vital to creating jobs for millions of migrant workers.

China must maintain the competitive advantage as it is in line with the national conditions, he said.

If the country did not export shoes, shirts and other labor-intensive products during the financial crisis, the impact on foreign trade would have been far greater, he noted.

The BFA, a pan-Asian platform of dialogue for key issues affecting Asia and the world, will convene its annual session on April 9-11 in Boao, a scenic town in south China's island province of Hainan.

The forum of about 2,000 political leaders, entrepreneurs and academic scholars from across the world are expected to hold discussions under the theme of "Green recovery: Asia's realistic choice for sustainable growth" during the coming weekend.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: Xinhua