[EDITORIALS]Here Come the Chinese

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[EDITORIALS]Here Come the Chinese

China's 15-year-long ambition to officially enter the World Trade Organization has been realized. The full-scale entry of China, with its 1.3 billion population, into the world economy is expected to significantly expand the volume of the international market and bring vitality to a depressed global economy caused by the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11.

China's WTO entry is a challenge as well as a crisis for China itself. China now has to bear the obligations and responsibilities of a member of the world economy, such as abolishing subsidies on agricultural exports, but China also gains many rights and an influential voice as a member of the global economy. China may face a crisis due to internal demands for democracy and external demands to open its financial market further, which inevitably accompany economic growth. Since China is one of the biggest trading partners of Korea, after the United States and Japan, and is closely connected historically and geographically, China's WTO entry is expected to affect us directly and significantly. The simultaneous entries into the WTO of both China and Taiwan - showcasing Taiwan's technology and Hong Kong's financial know-how - are expected to clearly highlight a stronger Chinese presence in the world economy. This is expected to expedite the union of the East Asian economy, coupled with the expansion of a yen-led economic bloc. It also means Korea must actively participate in a China-led economic consolidation.

As China lowers its import tax and opens its market, our exports to China are expected to increase temporarily, and that means there is a way to solve trade dispute more efficiently, under WTO rules. It is also anticipated that competition with China will be fiercer in third country markets, and the huge capital inflow to China might cause industrial vacuum in neighboring countries. To catch up with the emergence of China, Korea must refine its plan to be the shipping and transportation stronghold of East Asia, and expedite a strategy of developing its western coastal area. Korean companies should also come up with a new strategy aimed at the Chinese market, in anticipation for fiercer competition with companies from developed countries.

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