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Chinese WAPI Delegation Quits Prague Meeting

A Chinese delegation representing a China-made version of a networking technology has quit an on-going international meeting in Prague due to "unfair" treatment, the delegation said Thursday afternoon in an e-mail to Xinhua News Agency.


The Chinese delegation said it was not allowed to elaborate its views at the meeting and that the atmosphere was "extremely unfair".


The meeting held in the capital of Czech Republic, was held to discuss which of two technologies would become the international standard for wireless local area network encryption. The Chinese version, known as WAPI was competing against its rival American 11i for the right to be recognized by the International Standardization Organization (ISO).


Last March the WAPI standard lost an international vote in a fast-track ballot, which the Chinese say was unfairly conducted.


According to ISO rules, national bodies voting against either of the two technologies are supposed to attend the meeting. Only seven of the 17 countries opposing WAPI showed up.


IEEE, the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc, has been accused by the Chinese of violating ISO rules and misleading nations to vote against WAPI.


"The monopoly force from the American standard maker IEEE poisoned the voting process and created an unfair atmosphere at the Prague meeting," said a member of the Chinese delegation surnamed Huang.


In appeals made to the ISO in late April, China requested the organization to delay analysis of the voting result and asked IEEE to apologize for its "amoral behavior".


The appeal is still pending but the analysis meeting was held despite the request for a delay.


"China lost its right to elaborate on its opinion at the meeting and WAPI has been deprived of an opportunity to change its fate following the vote," the statement said.


"In this unfair atmosphere, it is meaningless for the Chinese delegation to continue attending the meeting," it said.


Nine national bodies sent delegates to the meeting including the US, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Swiss, the Netherlands, China and Republic of Korea. The meeting, which opened in Prague on Wednesday, is scheduled to close on Thursday local time.


(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2006)


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