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EU Trade Chief Warns China on Copyright Piracy

European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has warned China it may face a backlash if it does not stop pirating trademarked products or improve market access for European goods. The warning came as the EU trade chief met with officials in Beijing.

The EU Trade Commissioner told reporters at the end of his four-day visit Thursday, that he will keep coming back to China as many times as it takes to "get Europe's trade relationship right."

Mandelson met with Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi and other top officials, stressing the need for China to live up to the commitments it has made to stop the pirating of copyrighted products and open its markets further to European goods and services. He said that not doing so would fuel protectionist sentiment in Europe.

"If we are going to remain in Europe as open as we are, what matters in the end is what China does, how China acts, that will determine whether we can defeat the arguments of those in Europe and elsewhere who fear China's growth and want to build barriers to China's exports," he said.

The EU trade chief said there is much impatience and frustration in Europe about what many believe is the Chinese government's inadequate action to tackle product counterfeiting.

Mandelson praised efforts the Chinese government says it is making to stop counterfeiting copyrighted products. However, he said, "there is still a mountain to climb" before the widespread infringement of intellectual property rights is conquered.

The United States has also made similar calls on China, saying intellectual property right violations cost American companies billions of dollars each year in lost sales of items ranging from movie videos to designer clothing and pharmaceuticals.

Washington and Brussels also have both continued to push for China to grant better access to their products.

EU officials on Thursday said they have concluded preliminary consultations with China on resolving a tariff dispute over car parts. The EU and the United States have filed complaints with the World Trade Organization, WTO, alleging Beijing unfairly forced Chinese automakers to use Chinese-made parts.