China & the WTO

  • Matthew Christopher Kolasa (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


China is the largest economy to join the WTO in the 21st century. Scholars have disagreed on China’s role in the organization and how China would affect it, as a passive player, an agenda setter, or a strategic asserter of rights. This paper argues China adapted slowly to using the Dispute Settlement Body to assert its rights against violations of trade rules in the early years of its membership but has since evolved into a strategic player that has grown increasingly assertive through its use of litigation at the organization. China needed time to develop domestic legal expertise in WTO litigation practice and has since shed its early reticence toward litigation, becoming the organization’s most active developing nation and third most active member in recent years. The paper will further claim while politics have played a role in China’s WTO strategy, a gradual trend toward a rules-based approach has developed, as shown by China’s record of activity in the organization’s Dispute Settlement Body. However, recent changes in the trade environment from regional trade agreements, a new US administration, the Belt and Road initiative, and China’s movement up the value chain have created new uncertainties about China’s relationship with the WTO.
Period7 Apr 2021
Event titleInternational Studies Association Annual Convention Las Vegas 2021
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • China
  • International Trade
  • WTO
  • Global Governance
  • Globalization
  • Inter-Governmental Organizations
  • International Law
  • Asia
  • International Cooperation