Transparency is one of the pillars of the multilateral trading system from the inception of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 to the present. With the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, transparency became even more central to the mandate of the organization. WTO transparency obligations allow member states to impose regulatory restrictions in a non-discriminatory and least trade restrictive manner and thereby distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate non-tariff barriers to trade. Lack of transparency was a primary concern of the United States during China’s WTO accession negotiations. As a result, the protocol of accession of China to the WTO imposes additional transparency obligations on China. Since its accession, China has promulgated many transparency related laws to comply with its WTO obligations. However, increased transparency has not resulted in creating a liberal market economy, rule of law and due process in China. Chinese “legalism” is premised upon governmental control not governmental accountability. Furthermore, Confucian attitudes towards governance (as opposed to legalists attitudes) value opacity not transparency. The size of the country, its historical conception of governance, and the variety of differences among local governments in implementing central government mandates, make implementation of transparency norms difficult on many different levels.