China's top envoy on trade with the United States has said Washington's cases against China in the World Trade Organization will damage trade relations between the two economic giants. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.
China's Vice Premier Wu Yi chastised Washington for filing two trade complaints against China with the World Trade Organization. She said they would have a "negative impact" on bilateral cooperation.
The U.S. earlier this month filed two complaints with the World Trade Organization, saying China has not done enough to stop widespread piracy and lower domestic market barriers to foreign media.
Wu said never before had a W.T.O. member filed two cases at the same time against another member. She said in doing so Washington has not only ignored China's progress in fighting piracy, but also harmed cooperation between the two countries - particularly on the two issues cited in the U.S. complaints, intellectual property rights protection, and access to the Chinese market for foreign publications.
"The Chinese government is extremely dissatisfied about this, but we will proactively respond according to the related W.T.O. rules and see it through to the end," Wu says.
Wu, the head of strategic trade talks with the U.S. on market access and other trade conflicts, defended China's intellectual property protection efforts as being in line with international standards.
But she also admitted piracy is still a big problem in China.
"Right now China's burden is heavy and the road is long, with relatively little of its own intellectual property, weak competitiveness, continuous piracy disputes, and a prominence of fake products," Wu says. "It is cheap to pirate goods, but expensive to protect copyright."
Wu outlined the government's plans to enact and revise at least fourteen laws on intellectual property rights and initiate campaigns to educate the public on piracy issues.
Wu spoke at the opening of a one-day government forum in Beijing on intellectual property rights.
China is believed to be the major source for most of the world's pirated products such as video and music discs, clothing, car parts, and medicine.
U.S. officials and industry groups say Chinese piracy costs American companies billions of dollars a year in lost sales.