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China and UK Discuss Trade, IPR Protection
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On Monday China and the United Kingdom pledged to promote cooperation in trade and investment, enhance dialogue on trade protectionism, resumption of the Doha talks and intellectual property rights (IPR) protection.

At the sixth conference of the Sino-British Trade and Investment Joint Committee here, Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and Alistair Darling, Britain's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, agreed on the necessity for the Doha talks of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be pushed forward through constructive multilateral organizations.

Both sides welcomed an early resumption of the Doha round of negotiations on world trade. The Doha talks, which remain inconclusive after almost five years, were indefinitely suspended in July due to bitter differences among major WTO members particularly on agricultural issues.

The two sides also discussed solutions to increasing trade protectionism and called for joint efforts to tackle the problem.

The European Union (EU) is China's largest trading partner and biggest source of high technology, Bo said. However, frequent anti-dumping complaints and trade investigations by the EU would harm the harmonious atmosphere between China and them as well as bilateral trade and investment expansion.

Bo also called on the British to play a constructive role in an early EU decision on China's market economy status.

The two sides agreed to strengthen dialogue and coordination in trade and to enhance research on IPR protection. The Chinese government regards IPR protection as a national strategy and would maintain its fight against infringements, Bo said.

In 2005 public security departments arrested 2,119 people involved in piracy, up 56 percent over the previous year, and the total sum involved was 1.28 billion yuan, up 366 percent, Bo said.

"We recognize the efforts made by the Chinese government to protect intellectual property rights," Darling said. The UK hoped to seek more opportunities to work with China in IPR protection, he added. 

Both sides agreed the committee had played a key role in promoting trade and investment and holding high-level official meetings to examine progress by working groups.

Darling, leading a 15-member delegation, arrived in Beijing on Sunday. He’ll also visit Shanghai and Hong Kong. He said over the weekend before departure that Sino-British trade ties would be strengthened through mutual investment and not only trade.

The first conference of the Sino-British joint committee was held in 1996.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2006)

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