China agrees to ‘intensive’ WTO talks on fisheries: sources



Emma Farge | Reuters

China is ready to “fully engage” in intensive negotiations agreed on Tuesday by the World Trade Organization to cut subsidies on fishing by year-end, sources following the talks said.

The body has been trying to reach a deal for the past 20 years on ending the subsidies which environmentalists say are contributing to a worrying decline in global fish stocks.

The WTO’s 164 members are set to start “continuous negotiations” in September based on a draft text with a view to getting a deal by December. One source said four week-long negotiating rounds were planned with all parties and other talks on the sidelines.

Historically, China has resisted pressure to accept restrictions and curb the size and range of its vast fleet, so the success of a deal is widely seen to rest on the willingness of China to take part in the talks and adhere to their outcome.

China, the European Union, the United States, South Korea and Japan are the top five subsidisers – with Beijing and Washington at odds over details over this issue, as well as their myriad other areas of friction.

To read the full article, click here