History was heralded when China joined the WTO in 2001, for good reason: the world’s most populous nation was entering the rules-based system that has long governed international commerce. But the full ramifications of that event are only now becoming apparent, as the Chinese economic juggernaut evolved in profoundly troublesome ways. Journalist and CIGI Senior Fellow, Paul Blustein, chronicles the contentious process resulting in China’s WTO membership and the transformative changes that followed, both good and bad – for China, for its trading partners and for the global trading system as a whole. Schism recounts how China opened its markets and underwent far-reaching reforms that fuelled its economic takeoff, but shifted to a model of heavy state intervention that is fundamentally at odds with the principles guiding other major economies. Events took a potentially catastrophic turn in 2018 when the Trump administration initiated a trade war with Beijing. Regardless of how that confrontation unfolds, the foundations of the rules-based trading system have been fractured. And the world will be grappling for decades with the challenges posed by China Inc.
- Joost Pauwelyn, Professor , International Law ,Co- Director, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, Graduate Institute, Geneva
Short Bio of Paul Blustein
An award-winning journalist and author, he has written extensively about international economics, trade and financial crises. Prior to joining CIGI in 2010, Paul was a journalist-in-residence at the Brookings Institution, a staff writer for The Washington Post and the chief economic correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. His sixth book, Schism: China, America and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System, will be published in September 2019.A native of Washington D.C., Paul attended the University of Wisconsin (B.A., history), before heading to Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with an M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics in 1975. He lives in Kamakura, Japan with his wife, Yoshie Sakai, and is the father of four children.
This event is organised jointly with CIGI Centre for International Governance Innovation: an independent, non-partisan think tank with an objective and uniquely global perspective.