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China Meets US, Mexico over Subsidies Complaint
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China met with trade representatives from US and Mexico on Tuesday following their complaint about Chinese industrial subsidies, the Chinese Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) revealed.

Hosted at WTO headquarters in Geneva, the consultations apparently "proved to be helpful and contributed to the better understanding of the concerns of all parties concerned," a statement released by the mission revealed.

During the meeting, the Chinese side provided a sincere introduction to its standpoint and clarified the taxation measures decried by the US and Mexico as creating unfair trade subsides, according to the statement.

"It is evident from the consultations that the complaining parties have misunderstandings toward Chinese foreign investment and taxation regimes," it said, adding that in reality, certain so-called "subsidies" programs no longer existed or were irrelevant in China.

The Chinese Mission also shed light on China's active measures to reform its corporate income taxation regime, including some of "subsidies" programs that have been a thorn in the side of the US. It hailed the new Corporate Income Tax Law, passed last week by the National People's Congress, as a strong example of such reform.

The statement further insisted that China "always respects its commitments of accession to the WTO and all WTO agreements."

Calling for a balanced trade playing field, the statement further called upon all WTO members, particularly more developed countries, to lead the way in making trade-distorting subsidies, especially those for agriculture, a thing of the past.

This formed the first round of consultations held since the US fielded its Chinese subsidies case to the WTO in early February, a complaint seconded by Mexico.

Overseeing Tuesday's consultations as third parties were the EU, Japan and Australia, who stood in for this initial stage of the WTO's dispute settlement procedures. Should the talks fail in the end, the complaining parties may request a WTO panel of experts to resolve the dispute through independent investigation.

(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2007)

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