China’s trade policy has shifted in the near-decade since it joined the WTO, argues Razeen Sally in a new study. It behaves more like a very large, complex economy and less like a small-to-medium-sized open economy. It inclines less to unilateral liberalisation and more to hard-bargaining reciprocity. China’s short-term challenge is to contain protection at home, concludes Sally. Beyond that, China’s challenge is to stimulate further unilateral liberalisation related to domestic structural reforms. That means tackling non-border, but still trade-related, regulatory barriers, especially in investment and services.