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China Willing to Revive Global Trade Talks
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In a major international show of force, the combined strengths of Bo Xilai, Chinese Commerce Minister, and Susan Schwab, US Trade Representative, called for the revival of the Doha Round of global trade negotiations.


These remarks were made during a meeting between the two high-ranking officials, the ministry said in a statement issued late Monday.


Bo called for the developed members of the WTO to make the first move in injecting new life into the Doha round of talks, by each making significant contributions.


The Doha Development Round talks collapsed last month when five years of lengthy talks failed to resolve disputes among key participants, including Australia, India and the EU, over farm tariffs and subsidies.


Bo said he regretted the breakdown of the Doha talks. He claimed that reviving the talks, which aim to further equal multilateral trade systems, is in the interest of the majority of WTO members.


Since the Doha round is dubbed the development round, all parties should give top priority to the issue of development and take a constructive attitude so that they can usher in a balanced, stable and open trade regime, he said.


Schwab said the United States is willing to rekindle the Doha Round of talks, adding that as an important member of WTO and a major beneficiary of the multilateral trade system, China should play a bigger role in the Doha Round.


Bo added that China's stance on the issue of protecting intellectual property right (IPR) is firm and consistent. China has taken a comprehensive and systematic approach to protecting IPR by improving legislation, law enforcement, education, training and corporate self-discipline as well as developing international cooperation, he said.  


Bo expressed China's concerns over the recognition of its market economy status, the easing of US export controls, visas for Chinese businessmen and cooperation in tourism and on quarantine services.


"Solving these issues will inject new impetus into Sino-US trade relations and solidify bilateral trade ties," he said.


Schwab said she agreed with Bo, adding that bilateral trade relations with China are vital to the United States and that development of these relations is of fundamental interest to both countries.


The United States understands the Chinese concerns and is willing to cooperate with the Chinese side on these issues, she said.


The call for renewal from major players such as China and the US should go a long way towards reviving the Doha Round of talks, after their July collapse in Geneva.


Hong Kong has recently come forward, offering to mediate the collapsed talks. Raymond Young, HK Director-General of Trade and Industry, said that the territory, which hosted the 2005 meeting of the Doha negotiations, had a "moral high-ground" on free trade that will allow it to play an honest brokering role.


(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2006)

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