Long Yongtu: China鈥檚 chief negotiator 06-22-2004 10:16

鈥淎 win-win situation is good for everybody.鈥 A strong believer that both parties can mutually benefit, Long Yongtu took the leading role negotiating China鈥檚 entry into the WTO. The result of his efforts helped to merge China into the mainstream of the world economy. Using the win-win principle, his goal is to create a more harmonious domestic, international and global environment.

Long Yongtu, as vice minister and CTR of MOFTEC, is responsible for trade negotiations and multilateral economic and legal affairs. As chief negotiator for China's WTO accession, he conducted WTO talks with more than a dozen trade partners. Since the United States promised to get China into the WTO by the end of 1999, Long devoted special attention to developing Sino-American ties. After successfully reaching agreements on China's WTO entry with the United States and Canada, Long began to negotiate the terms of China's admission with the EU, the last major trading power with which China needed to sign a market-opening pact.

Long has had to defend WTO membership at home as well, emphasizing the economic benefits to China, dispelling the fear that China's markets will suddenly open completely upon accession, pointing out that the WTO can help resolve China's increasing trade frictions with developed countries and free China from the threat of revocation of most-favored-nation status, and promising that membership will strengthen China's international image. He is working to ensure that WTO negotiations consider the demands and interests of developing countries.

As China's representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Long has devoted himself to helping revive economies hard hit by the Asian financial crisis through technological cooperation, investment, and increased purchases of raw materials and equipment from Asian countries; to liberalizing regional trade; and to improving the environment for businesses and consumers to give the United States and Europe no excuse for trade protectionism and to convince the world that the financial crisis has not affected regional efforts to promote free trade.

Long advocates the transfer of labor-intensive industries with advanced technologies from developed countries to China to capitalize on China's low labor costs and create job opportunities. He does not support the localization of imported technology under a protective industrial policy, saying that it is too time-consuming and inefficient; on the contrary, he wants China to be an overseas production base for transnational corporations and a part of their market because their close ties to joint ventures in China will encourage them to provide the latest technology and top management skills to China's new technology industries.

Long seeks to optimize China's export mix and open up more industries to international trade and investment. He is pushing his government toward greater participation in formulating international trade and investment rules to help establish a fair international economic order.

Long is also in charge of multilateral economic and trade affairs between China and the United Nations development agencies. He led the first Chinese delegation to OECD in Paris in 1995. He also took part in creating the Regional Economic Development Cooperation Committee of the Tumen River Area and chaired its first ministerial meeting in Beijing in 1996.

Leadership Posts

Long Yongtu was a diplomat in the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations from 1978 to 1980. From 1980 to 1986, he worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), first at the New York headquarters and then in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as the deputy resident representative of the UNDP Office.

In 1986, Long was appointed deputy director of the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICITE), a government organization coordinating UNDP and UNIDO assistance in China. In 1992, he was made director of the International Trade and Economic Affairs Department of MOFTEC. By 1994, he had become assistant minister of MOFTEC, rising in 1997 to vice minister of MOFTEC and its first CTR.

In addition, Long has been vice chairman of the board of directors of the University of International Business and Economics, and visiting professor at Peking and Nankai Universities.


Long Yongtu was born in Hunan Province in 1943 and studied British and American Literature at Guizhou University. Graduating in 1965, he immediately went to work for the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade. He obtained a master's degree in economics from the London School of Economics in 1974.


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