The full globalization of the Chinese economy will not be painless, Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), told CNBC.
China's trade relations, especially with the United States, have been marred by tension. The U.S. has accused China in the past of manipulating its currency to make its exports more attractive. More recently, accusations of cyberspace hacking have further muddied the waters between the world's two largest economies.
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But the WTO Director General said that the new leadership in China seems to be going in the right direction in improving market access to China.
"What I heard the new Chinese leadership saying is that we want to keep China opening its market, we want to keep internationalizing the Chinese economy," Lamy said.
However, he added that this process of opening up will not be without challenges as it will face resistance from domestic players who will not always welcome foreign competition.