U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has complained about the admission of China into the World Trade Organization, saying the country has not complied with the WTO norms and its human rights have also regressed.

The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held testimony on December 13 to review the human rights situation in China over the past 20 years. Pelosi was invited to the hearing.

The United States established the CECC in 2000 to increase scrutiny of China’s governance after its admittance to the WTO.

One day before the CECC hearing, China said it had submitted a complaint to the WTO because it was dissatisfied with the United States chip ban. China accused the U.S. of restricting chip exports that threatened the stability of the global industrial supply chain.

Addressing the bipartisan commission hearing, Pelosi suggested that China does not deserve membership in the WTO.

Pelosi said that when China acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, she took to the House floor to urge her colleagues to block China from joining the WTO, arguing that the U.S. should not put business interests ahead of human rights.

As the world’s strongest economy, Pelosi said, America has a moral duty to link its trade relations with human rights.

At that time, some argued that China’s inclusion in the WTO might bring about a wave of reforms and progress. But obviously, this idea is too naive.

Pelosi said that the U.S. government had hoped for China’s reform, then given Beijing a “blank check.” Still, it led to big businesses prospering at the expense of small ones and American workers.

Pelosi said that China was not giving access to American products unless the U.S. companies gave Chinese businesses their designs, so it has turned them into competitors.

She said it’s a bad deal for American businesses to subject themselves to China’s intellectual property theft and access to Chinese markets. 

And China has not improved its behavior on human rights, which has seriously deteriorated since it entered the WTO in November 2001.

Beijing has even ignored the WTO norms many times.

Pelosi said she had once made clear that the U.S. must not abandon human rights for economic opportunity in China.

She added that the U.S. approach is fated to fail as the Congressional-Executive Commission on China reevaluated the last 20 years of operations.

Pelosi reaffirmed: “Let us be unequivocally clear America must defend all human rights as you made clear in your statement earlier.”

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