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Premier Wen Meets US Commerce Secretary
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday that the development of China-US relations has always been the consensus of both the Democrats and Republicans, calling for negotiations to thaw frosty trade ties between the two countries.

"Facts prove that consultation and dialogue are the right way to settle bilateral economic and trade frictions. Trade protectionism will only harm the common interests of both sides," Wen told visiting US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.

The visit by Gutierrez, leading a delegation involving 25 entrepreneurs, comes amid growing US concern about trade deficit with China. China's trade surplus with the United States grew to US$102.2 billion in the first nine months of this year.

China has always pursued dialogue and consultations for the benefits of fast-growing China-US trade cooperation.

"This year, China and the United States have carried out consultations and dialogue in multiple economic and trade areas, properly dealt with some problems and secured the stable development of bilateral trade relations," Wen said.
Wen hoped the two countries could further expand and deepen cooperation in economic and trade field in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation as well as reciprocity and mutual-benefit.

Relatively balanced trade

In talks with Gutierrez on Monday, Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai described China-US trade in general as "relatively balanced".

Bo said that US exports to China were increasing rapidly, especially agricultural products, and that China was expected to become the third largest export market of the United States in 2007.

In some areas, such as the service and cultural industries, the United States has obvious advantages over China and a trade surplus. The branches or joint ventures of US companies in China also contributed to the deficit and benefited from it, Bo said.

In response to Bo, Gutierrez said the deficit remained a very important issue between the two countries, but reducing it by reducing imports from China was not the "correct strategy". Instead, the US should increase exports to China.

Gutierrez hoped the two countries could actively take measures to solve the problem.
IPR still a problem

Besides gaining greater access to Chinese markets for US firms, the intellectual property rights (IPR) issue is also on the agenda during Gutierrez's fourth China visit.

At the fifth IPR Roundtable in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai reiterated China's firm stance against piracy.

"The Chinese government will show no mercy in dealing with IPR infringements," Bo said.

Gutierrez described IPR protection as a "huge problem" in China, but he lauded several achievements China had made in this regard. China is "showing an increasing ability" to deal with this very complex matter, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2006)


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