Old traditional neighbourhoods are flanked by modern skyscrapers in Chinese cities. China's rapid growth has boosted its position among the world's major economies. Photo by Marie-Claire Holmes, 2005.
China needs to improve its market access and reduce piracy of foreign goods and intellectual property, Peter Mandelson, European Union Trade Commissioner said Thursday. Addressing students at Renmin University in Beijing, Mandelson warned that China faces a looming backlash in Europe unless it acts to "apply rather than cirumvent the rules."
"The more the Chinese door swings open and the world sees a responsible China playing by the rules, the more our citizens will be able to understand our shared interest in deepening our relationship," Mandelson told the students. The trade commissioner was in Beiijing for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Bo Xilai.
Pirated goods for sale in China, as well as various trade issues have been the source of repeated disagreements with European and American businesses. Recently both Brussels and Washington have restricted import quotas after accusing China of flooding their markets with clothing and shoes. China claims it is able to produce goods cheaply and should not be stymied by Western trade protections.
The large volume of counterfeit goods available in China - including movies, fake designer-brand clothes and medicines - seemingly has been unaffected by government clamp-downs. Meanwhile, this week the US government threatened to bring China's "abuse of intellectual property rights" before the World Trade Organisation.