In response to the complete paralysis of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) expressed regret, saying China, together with other WTO members, will continue to push for the resumption of the normal operation of the Appellate Body.
The paralysis of the Appellate Body has affected the normal operation of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and dealt a heavy blow to the multilateral trading system, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a press briefing Thursday.
The Appellate Body, considered as the supreme court for global trade disputes, is supposed to have seven judges and needs a minimum of three to function.
The Appellate Body has been paralyzed since Dec. 11, 2019, as a certain WTO member has been obstructing the selection of the Appellate Body’s judges. The last member of the Appellate Body officially left office on Nov. 30 this year.
Gao said as one of the core pillars of the WTO, the dispute settlement mechanism plays a key role in maintaining the stability and predictability of the multilateral trading system.
China has been firmly upholding the multilateral trading system and making unremitting efforts to restore the functioning of the Appellate Body, he said.
After the paralysis of the Appellate Body, 119 members, including China and the European Union, put forward proposals to immediately start the selection of members of the Appellate Body.
China, together with 42 members such as the European Union, submitted proposals on institutional reforms of the Appellate Body. They have participated in WTO negotiations to create conditions for starting the selection.
Gao said China will work with other WTO members to resume the normal operation of the Appellate Body as soon as possible, firmly uphold the core values and basic principles of the WTO such as openness, inclusiveness and non-discrimination and firmly uphold free trade and the rules-based multilateral trading system.