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"A byproduct of China’s spectacular growth has been rising economic tensions with other countries. China’s exchange-rate policy and its bilateral trade surplus with the US were major issues in America’s presidential election, and concerns over Chinese foreign investment are ubiquitous. The World Trade Organization upheld America’s duties on Chinese tires, and Canada has extended its review of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s bid to acquire Nexen, a Canadian oil and gas producer. Despite China’s WTO membership, many foreign companies face restrictions on expanding in China or must cooperate with a Chinese company.

The Chinese, for their part, complain about foreign trade practices and are taking some cases (for example, a long-running dispute with the European Union over solar panels) to the WTO, where cases brought against China by other countries are proliferating. All sides, however, must bear in mind that China is too important to the global economy and trading system to allow these disputes to spin out of control."

(Illustration by Paul Lachine)
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