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WTO to investigate US-China IPR dispute


The World Trade Organization (WTO) decided on Tuesday to establish an expert panel to probe US complaints that China was not doing enough to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), trade officials said.

The panel decision was automatically made at a meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body, following a second request by the United States. Washington's first request for such a panel was made last month but rejected by China in accordance with WTO rules.

The United States initiated the case at the WTO in April, claiming that China's legal structure for IPR protection is unfairly deficient and inconsistent with WTO regulations. Consultations between the two sides failed to solve the dispute.

For nearly 30 years and particularly since joining the WTO in 2001, China has spared no efforts to improve its IPR legislation, and now the legislation is in full accordance with WTO rules, the Chinese mission to the WTO said in a statement after Tuesday's meeting.

By initiating the case, the United States is actually trying to change the WTO legal structure on IPR protection, with an attempt to impose extra obligations on developing members, the statement said.

It added that China would not accept obligations that go beyond what is prescribed in the "TRIPS" agreement among the 151 WTO members, which covers trade-related intellectual property rights.

The statement reiterated that China would continue to pay much attention to IPR protection, as it is necessary for China's economic development.

As a developing country, China is ready to make its due efforts for promoting worldwide IPR protection, the statement said.

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