China promotes new international trade representative
Published: Jan 14, 2021 02:41 AM

China EU Photo: VCG

China’s State Council, the cabinet, promoted Yu Jianhua, who has been serving as a vice minister of commerce, to become China’s international trade representative, a key position for trade negotiations with other countries, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.

Yu has been the vice minister of commerce and the deputy China international trade representative since 2017 and has held various positions within the country’s commerce ministry, including posts as a commercial counselor in Europe. 

The promotion of Yu to the international trade representative position comes as China is set to carry forward several major trade and investment agreements, including a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with the EU and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 14 other Asia Pacific countries.

Chinese and EU leaders announced on December 30 that the two sides have completed long negotiations for the BIT as planned. Following the talks, the two sides are now working on the final agreement.

After reaching agreement on the RCEP in 2020, member countries are now pushing forward their own domestic certification process before implementing the world’s biggest deal. Chinese officials have vowed to swiftly push for implementation.

As China’s international trade representative, Yu is also likely to participate in future trade talks with the US, although the two sides have not yet indicated that they will launch negotiations after signing the phase one deal.

Despite both sides’ commitment to carry out the phase one deal, there remain some unsolved issues, including lingering tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of each other’s products.