China is carefully considering the US request for WTO consultations over intellectual property rights, said the Ministry of Commerce.
On Monday, the WTO received two complaints from the US government which accused China of harboring rampant copyright piracy and of restricting the sales of American movies, music and books. Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei confirmed that China's delegation to the WTO had received the formal request.
Under WTO rules, the two parties must hold consultations within 60 days. Should this not resolve the issue, then the appealing side may ask the WTO to appoint a neutral panel to oversee the case.
Wang pointed out that the Chinese government has led a very successive campaign against IPR violations and established a specific IPR protection taskforce involving 17 ministries and government agencies.
"Conflicts are unavoidable in trade relations but we can find the optimum method to solve them," Wang said, adding that these issues should be addressed through consultation and dialogue.
The US' persistent referrals of China to the global trade body have emerged in part from the superpower's widening trade deficit with China. Progress is being made with the gap narrowing to US$9.5 billion in March from US$12.3 billion in February with China's total trade surplus also marking a one-year drop of close to 40 percent.
According to Wang, careful government policy in scrapping or reducing export tax rebates on targeted products have contributed to these successes.
(China Daily April 12, 2007)