Monday, 14 January 2008

Seminar at the WTI

I will spend the next week in Switzerland, first attending a meeting at the WTO in Geneva and then giving a seminar on China and WTO at the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research and the World Trade Institute in Bern on the 24th. For the readers of the blog who happen to be in Bern on that date, you are most welcome to come and join the seminar. More details can be found here.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Sacrifice seasoned with salt

The MOFCOM recently announced that Chinese firms will not be allowed to export about 600 items. This is seen as yet another step by China to discourage low-value-added processing trade and encourage high-value-added trade. While most of the items featured in the list are those made of endangered species and thus should rightfully be prohibited, I was surprised to find SALT is also included in the list. I can't help wondering whether this is meant to be a counter-attack against of the recent spat between China and other countries regarding the safety of Chinese exports: you take away my toys, I will take away your salt! Or better still, this could well be a sacrifice that the other countries have to make when they attack the quality of Chinese goods (MARK 9:49 "every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt"). Or rather, this is supposed to be a call for truce with the other countries? (MARK 9:50 "Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another").

The full list is available here.

MOFCOM selected as the best website among central ministries in China

Recently the MOFCOM was selected as the best website among all central ministries in China. This is the sixth year that the MOFCOM topped the chart. One wonders what is the link between such stellar performance and Section 2.C of China's WTO Accession Protocol. The Full press release is available here.

Friday, 4 January 2008


Some of the readers of this blog might have noticed that I've moved. Starting from now, I will be updating this blog from Singapore, where I will be working as an Associate Professor in the the newly-established School of Law of Singapore Management University, while on leave from the University of Hong Kong.