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China, US Hold Consultations on IPR Protection
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China and the United States have held consultations in Geneva on issues involving the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), the Chinese Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Saturday.

The consultations were held from Thursday to Friday within the framework of the WTO's dispute settlement system. The United States had earlier complained to the WTO about copyright piracy in China.

In the consultations, China reiterated that it had always attached great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights.

Since its accession to the WTO, China has honored its WTO commitments and undertaken international obligations on intellectual property rights (IPR) and made great achievements on IPR legislation and enforcement which are well recognized and highly valued by the entire world, the Chinese delegation said.

China recalled that Article 1.1 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement) provides in its very beginning that WTO members "shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of the TRIPs Agreement within their own legal system and practice."

Immediately after its accession to the WTO, China devoted great efforts to adjusting and modifying its IPR-related laws and regulations comprehensively, hence effectively ensuring the consistency of its legislation with the requirements of relevant WTO rules.

With regard to certain Chinese measures challenged by the United States in this case, China said that it "firmly believes such measures are fully consistent with the TRIPs Agreement and should bear no blame."

"China strongly opposes any attempt by any other WTO member to impose additional obligations beyond the TRIPs Agreement through inappropriate application of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, and believes that the impact resulted therefrom would by no means be accepted by other developing members," it said.
According to the Chinese mission to the WTO, the two-day consultations could to some extent help clarify certain issues and contribute to better communication between China and the United States.

However, it regrettably noted that the US had failed to correctly understand China's legal system and basic concepts concerning IPR protection.

On the other hand, the US, having spent long time preparing a lengthy list of questions, left China only one week to respond to them, the Chinese mission said.

"China hopes that the United States will take serious consideration of the information that China has provided in the consultations in order to correctly evaluate China's laws on IPR protection and make a right decision for the next step," the Chinese mission said in a statement.

It also reiterated that China's IPR protection efforts are not only out of the necessity of developing its own economy, but also constitute an integral part of such efforts by the international community as a whole, hence playing a positive role in enhancing global IPR protection.

As a developing country, China will further strengthen its IPR protection endeavor.

According to the Chinese mission, from Tuesday to Wednesday, China and the US also held consultations on issues involving the market access of publications.

(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2007)

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