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Banking on China's WTO Commitments: 'Same Bed, Different Dreams' in China's Financial Services Sector


  • Daniel C. Crosby


Foreign banks and the Chinese Government have different dreams about the business opportunities and obligations that arise under China's World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments on financial services. This article provides an overview of China's banking sector reforms and its gradual opening to foreign participation in the context of General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) rules governing international trade in financial services and the obligations that apply since China's WTO accession in December 2001. The article highlights the contradictory interpretations that China and other Members have issued regarding China's GATS commitments and provides a framework for assessing the WTO consistency of China's banking measures. An analysis is conducted under this framework to evaluate whether China has fully implemented its GATS commitments on (i) the acquisition of Chinese banks by foreign financial institutions, (ii) legitimate 'prudential regulation' in the banking sector, and (iii) full market access for credit card and electronic payment services. Notwithstanding the apparent complexity of GATS rules, the article concludes that the WTO legal framework supports the case for increased access to China's financial services market consistent with its GATS commitments, and fully consistent with China's plans for continuing domestic growth and its medium-term financial services export interests. , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel C. Crosby, 2008. "Banking on China's WTO Commitments: 'Same Bed, Different Dreams' in China's Financial Services Sector," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 75-105, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:11:y:2008:i:1:p:75-105

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