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China's 20 years at WTO: A boon for Beijing, a beef for critics

Hopes for the Asian giant to embrace global norms go unfulfilled

The World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva. China joined the body in 2001.   © Reuters

VIENNA/BEIJING -- When China joined the World Trade Organization 20 years ago Saturday, American hopes were high that economic development would encourage Beijing to move toward democracy.

But while China has become an economic force to rival America in the decades since, little headway has been made there on the democratic process and human rights, Beijing's critics say.

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