China regrets that the United States has appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the second time to set up an expert panel to investigate US complaints that China is failing to do enough to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs), a Chinese government spokesman said on Thursday.
The Chinese government would actively respond to the US request and protect China's interests under WTO rules, said Wang Xinpei, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce.
The WTO decided on Tuesday to establish the panel according to US request, after the first request was rejected by China last month according to WTO rules.
The United States initiated the case at the WTO on April 10, claiming that China's legal structure for IPR protection is unfairly deficient and inconsistent with WTO regulations. Consultations between the two sides failed to solve the dispute.
China had repeatedly expressed its position since the start of the case, and had showed great sincerity during negotiations, said Wang.
For nearly 30 years and particularly since joining the WTO in 2001, China had spared no efforts to improve its IPR legislation, and the legislation was in full accordance with WTO rules, said Wang.
By initiating the case, the United States was actually trying to change the international practice on IPR protection, with an attempt to make developing members shoulder extra obligations through the dispute settlement system.
China firmly opposed accepting obligations that went beyond what is prescribed in the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and believed that other developing members would not accept the outcome of such an attempt, said Wang.
Wang reiterated that China would continue to pay much attention to IPR protection, as it was necessary for China's economic development.
As a developing country, China is ready to make its due efforts for promoting worldwide IPR protection, Wang said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2007)