08 April 1999
Chinese premier claims a breakthrough on agriculture

CHINESE premier Zhu Rongji has claimed a breakthrough with the US over agricultural trade, currently blocking Beijings entry to the World Trade Organisation.

The premier, who is about to meet President Bill Clinton in the US, agreed to lift an import ban on wheat from seven US states and citrus from four states.

President Clinton has already issued a statement which has been interpreted as offering positive encouragement to Chinas WTO application.

He said the US had an interest in integrating China into the world trading system and in seeing it joint the WTO on “clearly acceptable commercial terms.

He said that if China agreed to abide by WTO rules then it would be an “inexplicable mistake” for the US to veto the application.

  • The Times 08/04/02/99 page 19
  • Financial Times 08/04/99 page 4
  • The Guardian 08/04/99 page 17