The Bush administration announced new trade cases against China on Monday
over copyright piracy and restrictions on the sale of American movies, music and
books, and in Beijing China expressed on Tuesday great regret and strong
dissatisfaction at the decision.
Tian Lipu, commissioner of the State
Intellectual Property Office of China.
"China expressed great regret and strong dissatisfaction at the decision of
the United States to file WTO cases against China over intellectual property
rights and access to the Chinese publication market," a spokesman for the
Commerce Ministry said in Beijing Tuesday.
Wang Xinpei, the
spokesman, said the US move runs against the consensus reached by leaders of the
two countries on developing bilateral trade relations and appropriately handling
"Such a move would seriously damage the cooperative relations established in
the fields, and would have negative impact on bilateral trade," Wang said in a
statement posted on the ministry's website (www.mofcom.gov.cn ).
The Chinese government's attitude towards intellectual property rights
protection has always been resolute, and its achievements obvious to all, the
China so far has not received any request from the
US for consultation under the WTO mechanism. Wang said China will seriously
study it and make positive response once the US raises an official
Under WTO rules, if the parties to a trade dispute fail to iron
out their differences within a 60-day consultation period, the complaining party
may refer the matter to a WTO dispute settlement panel.
"It's not a
sensible nor a rational move for the US government to file such a complaint,"
Tian Lipu, commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office of China,
"By doing so, the United States has ignored the Chinese government's immense
efforts and great achievements in strengthening IPR protection and tightening
enforcement of its copyright laws," Tian said.
Tian reiterated the US
move would not affect Chinese government's firm resolution in intellectual
property rights protection and in its fight against piracy.
efforts in IPR protection is never something due to foreign pressure,
but due to its own needs for development, for the construction of an
The two new cases to be filed by the US
represent the latest effort by the Bush administration to increase pressure on
China in the trade area despite Beijing's active efforts in cracking down on
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said the United States would file the
two cases on Tuesday with the World Trade Organization, the Geneva-based
organization that oversees trade disputes.
"China has taken numerous steps to improve its protection and enforcement of
intellectual property rights (IPR), (but) we have not been able to agree on
several important changes to China's legal regime that we believe are required
by China's WTO commitments," she said.
One case will contend that Beijing's reported lax enforcement of copyright
and trademark protections violates WTO rules, and the other will argue that
Beijing has erected WTO-illegal barriers to the sale of US-produced movies,
music and books in China.
The action marked the latest move against China on the part of the Bush
administration, which is trying to deal with rising political anger over soaring
US trade deficits.
The trade cases exposed a split in the business community: The film, music
and book publishing industries supported the move while some other industries
were concerned over whether the aggressive approach to China could result in
In her news conference, Schwab acknowledged that different industries favor
different approaches. She noted that the software industry scored a big victory
last year when China agreed to sell all computers with operating software.
"Where we are making progress, there is no need to litigate," Schwab said.