Relationship between international trade law and national tax policy: case study of China

This article first reviews China's pursuit of joining the international trade system after several decades of economic and political isolation from the West. The article next considers the key aspects of the World Trade Organization system (the WTO agreements, the general principles and the dispute settlement procedures) and then discusses the salient aspects of China's tax policy which may conflict with the WTO rules. Finally, the article analyses the tax policy implications of China's accession to the WTO. The main thesis is that, although the WTO rules may override domestic tax policies in certain cases, the extent of the constraints is modest. China remains more or less free to pursue its own tax policies.