China calls Washington a ‘bully’ at WTO trade disputes meeting

Illustration picture of U.S. and Chinese flags

Flags of US and China are seen in this illustration picture taken August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

GENEVA — China strongly criticized the United States at a World Trade Organization meeting on Friday, calling Washington a “unilateral bully” and a “rule breaker” in the latest escalation of rhetoric between the two trade rivals.

China’s ambassador to the WTO Li Chenggang was speaking at a WTO meeting on trade disputes shortly after the United States lodged an appeal against a recent WTO ruling which found that US metal tariffs breached global rules.

“These troubling behaviours of the US have clearly depicted an image of the US as a unilateral bully, a rule breaker, and a supply chain disruptor,” he said, according to a copy of his speech obtained by Reuters.

The WTO has made important rulings against the United States in recent weeks, including the metals ruling involving China and a separate dispute with Hong Kong over labelling. Washington, which has long criticised the WTO dispute system for overreach and is leading discussions on reforming it, has criticised both rulings.

However, the WTO will not be able to review Washington’s appeal of the metals case because its top appeals bench is paralysed after the United States blocked new judges.

“China would have hoped that the US would show due self-restraint not to appeal every unfavorable panel report into the void, which the US itself has created,” Li added.


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