GENEVA - The European Union and the United States said on Thursday that China was not
living up to all the liberalisation commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) four years ago.
While acknowledging that Beijing had made progress in applying WTO regulations, they both told a closed-door session that they "still had serious concerns", a WTO spokesman said.
In a statement to the WTO's executive General Council, and later made public, the EU highlighted the automobile sector, services -- notably banking, telecommunications and construction -- export restrictions on raw materials and intellectual property issues as being amongst its chief worries.
"Enforcement of intellectual property rights in China continues to be ineffective," the United States said in its statement.
Piracy and other infringements of intellectual property are a long-standing U.S. complaint about Chinese trade policy. "The problems are enormous and require the serious attention of China and other WTO members," the U.S. statement added.
In addition to areas mentioned by the EU, the United States also questioned China's steel policy and quarantine procedures for farm goods imports.
China, which joined the Geneva-based trade body in late 2001, accepted in its accession treaty to undergo annual reviews of how it was adapting to WTO rules.
The reviews, which will continue until 2009, were agreed because China was let in before it had brought all its domestic legislation into line with WTO practices.