The accession of China to the World Trade Organisation, which had been expected to be completed by this spring, has been delayed because of US concerns about future food production subsidies, and may now be postponed beyond the end of this year. With the striking of bilateral deals between China and the US and the EU last year, it had been assumed that a meeting of the WTO working party on Chinese accession last month would pave the way for the WTO General Council to admit China to the world's trade guardian within weeks.