Gao Feng, spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce, gestures at the ministry's press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)
BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. denial of "developing country status" of some members including China in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is neither in line with the facts nor with the principles and spirit of the organization, said the Ministry of Commerce Thursday.
Development issues are at the heart of the WTO work, Gao Feng, spokesperson for the ministry, remarked at a news conference when answering questions related to the United States applying pressure on the WTO.
Although some members in the WTO have developed rapidly in recent years, the overall gap between the developing and developed countries still exists and even tends to enlarge, Gao said.
He pointed out that the developing nations still need policy space to promote all-round development, and their endowed rights of "special and differential treatment" should be effectively protected.
"China is the largest developing country in the world, and it would take a long time for the country to catch up with developed countries in many aspects," Gao said.
Citing a recent report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Gao pointed out that China's human development index ranked 86th in the world, which was just slightly above the world average level.
He also said that the gap of absolute per capita income between China and the United States has widened from 43,000 U.S. dollars to 46,000 U.S. dollars between 2000 and 2016.
As a responsible developing country, China will continue to shoulder its international responsibilities commensurate with its economic development, Gao said.
He stressed that China, together with other developing countries in the WTO, will firmly uphold its lawful rights and interests and will play a constructive role in the WTO reform.
"We hope that the U.S. side could abandon erroneous practices of unilateralism and bullying and work with other WTO members to push forward the WTO reform in a positive direction," Gao said.