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The European Union and China concluded on May 19 a bilateral agreement towards China's membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreement brings China ever closer to completing its 14-year-old accession bid, though China must still conclude bilateral accession agreements with Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Switzerland and Venezuela.
WTO director-general Mike Moore hailed the agreement. "This is another major step towards extending the benefits and responsibilities of the WTO system to a quarter of the world's population," Mr. Moore said.
China's Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng said the agreement assures that the accession process is now largely procedural, and reiterated China's commitment to membership in the global trade body. "Our entry into the WTO now enters the procedural stage," Mr. Shi said. "I make a solemn statement that we will fulfill our commitments to the WTO and follow …