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China Needs to Take Positive Measures to Deal with the Changing Rules and Regulations Relating to Global Digital Trade (No.234, 2021)

Oct 29,2021

By Chen Hongna, Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations, DRC

Research Report, No.234, 2021 (Total 6299) 2021-8-31

Abstract: Currently, the approaches and patterns for the formulation of digital trade rules and regulations have witnessed changes in the following aspects: one, the prospect for formulating high-level multilateral digital trade rules and regulations is not optimistic, and efforts to expand regional and bilateral agreements to multilateral ones have become new approaches for formulating global rules; two, the increasing number of issues and post border measures have imposed higher requirements on member countries for higher-level institutional opening-up; three, the framework for trade agreements has formed whereas the differences in the structures, contents and commitment levels remain to be removed. China’s accession to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is a major step toward the participation of a high-level digital trade agreement, but China is still facing multiple constraints in the future. To this end, this paper puts forward the following policy options: one, China’s determination and confidence need to be revealed in participating in the high-level negotiations by upholding a high-level opening-up stance; two, efforts need to be made to flesh out the domestic supervisory system so as to get fully prepared for the coming negotiations; three, we need to maintain a proper opening-up attitude across the board for relevant negotiations and keep pace with the trend of changing rules and regulations for global digital trade.

Keywords: digital trade rules, formulation approach, RCEP agreement