The mainland delegation has criticised the World Trade Organisation's negotiation process, calling it unbalanced and too influenced by the desires of wealthier countries. Against a background of increasing tensions among members on key issues and further recognition that the organisation should be more transparent in its negotiations, Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation Shi Guangsheng said Beijing believed in the multilateral trading system but it had 'obvious defects'. 'Its failure to fully reflect the rights, interests and demands of the developing countries shows how incomplete and unbalanced this organisation is,' Mr Shi said. The mainland has observer status at the ministerial talks and wields considerable influence despite not yet being a WTO member. Mr Shi added that as the WTO prepared to launch a new round of trade negotiations, it was time to make choices about multilateral trade negotiations. 'The choice we must make today is whether to allow more countries, including developing countries, to enjoy the opportunities and benefits brought about by economic globalisation or to widen the gap between rich and poor countries and even to allow some countries to be marginalised,' Mr Shi said. He added that the choice was also: 'Whether to involve all members in the formulation of international trade rules for the next century through equal participation and consultation, or to allow a small number of members to dominate and control the process and the result of the negotiations.' He called on developed countries to meet their obligations stemming from agreements of the Uruguay round of negotiations and improve market access for developing countries. Led by large members such as India and Brazil, developing countries have continually expressed frustration at the lack of commitment to obligations on matters such as textile tariff reductions, agreed to almost five years ago. Mr Shi also suggested developing countries would help their cause by improving co-ordination and collective negotiating power. Beijing also added to the growing chorus against the US' push to include labour standards on the new agenda, with Mr Shi saying discussions should be related to trade. His views came as a working group on trade and labour started discussions in Seattle, and amid outrage among some other delegations at the way the US delegation had strong-armed the issue into the week's proceedings. Meanwhile, a Taiwan official said yesterday that Taipei would not lift a ban on flights between Taipei and Beijng even if the mainland entered the WTO.