China’s a member of the World Trade Organization

China’s economic reforms successfully built an improved
environment for both state and private companies, providing them with the
necessary resources, such as infrastructure, access to capital and a more
prepared workforce. In 1986, China obtained observer status under the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and since that year, it has begun working
towards accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). China became a member
of the World Trade Organization in 2001 and agreed to become a
“responsible participant” and to accept the rules of the world
trading system. Its market was opened to foreign investment and quotas and
tariffs were reduced. At present, it is the second largest exporter after
Germany and the second largest importer after the United States.

Due to its negotiation skills, China has huge commercial
surpluses and large reserves in foreign currency. It also has the largest
foreign exchange reserves in the world, more than $ 4 billion, an incredible 40
percent of the country’s GDP.

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As a result, China has become a global manufacturing
platform, and currently has the largest manufacturing economy in the world. For
example, China produces around 80% of the world’s air conditioners, 80% of the
world’s umbrellas, 70% of mobile phones and 60% of the country’s footwear. It
also became, in 2007, the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide, the main
greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. This was due to the growing demand
for coal to generate electricity and an increase in the production of cement to
build infrastructure.

The rapid development of China is an economic
miracle. No country in the world has grown in such a vertiginous way. According
to The Economist, Britain took more than 150 years since the beginning of the
industrial revolution to double GDP per person (measured in purchasing power
parity), from $ 1,300 to $ 2,600. About 120 years later, the United States,
with a population similar in size to the United Kingdom, achieved the same in
one third of the time. China has achieved it in only twelve years.