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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 09:24, March 23, 2005
FM spokesman: groundless to only blame China for textile trade disputes
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The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that putting all the blame on China for recent textile trade disputes is "groundless," as the United States and the European Union "unreasonably" overprotect their textile industries.

Liu Jianchao, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, made the remarks in response to a question over heating tensions on textiles among China, the US and the EU.

China textile exports have grown explosively since a global textile quota system ended on Jan. 1 under the World Trade Organization rules. As the two biggest importers of Chinese textiles, the US and the EU said they have been considering measures to safeguard domestic textile industries.

"We believe dialogue and complementary advantages are effective solutions," said Liu, adding that the problem could be solved if relevant parties sat down and had a "positive and friendly talk."

According to Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai Monday, China will consider self-imposed restraints on its textile exports, raise the quality of its products and keep prices stable in order to solve the disputes and ensure a stable growth of the country's textile export.

China Backs UN Reforms

Regarding UN reforms, the spokesman Liu Jianchao said that China appreciates efforts made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for promoting mulilateralism and democratization of international relations.

China is studying the 63-page United Nations reform plan issued March 21 by Annan. The report is believed to cover the most wide-ranging changes of the world body since its creation in 1945.

"The report has put forward many important proposals on peace, development, human rights and the UN reform," said the spokesman, adding that China will keep contacts and consultations with all relevant parties in a bid to speed up the reform process.

The report, released in a speech to the 191-member UN General Assembly, proposed rich countries' responsibility to poverty reduction, a new human rights council to replace the existing one, a condemnation of all forms of terrorism and a series of measures on UN reforms.

Liu said China has always supported the UN to enhance its capability in coping with various global threats and challenges through necessary and rational reforms.

He stressed that reforms should give full play to democracy and on the basis of full consultation for the broad consensus among all UN members.

The spokesman also said that the all-round and wide-ranging reforms should be guided by the UN Charter and fully take into consideration of and address concerns of developing countries.

He particularly mentioned the issue to increase input in development for the realization of the UN millennium development goals.

China urges Russia to look at trade problem "objectively"

The Chinese government is "deeply concerned" about the seizure by Russian police of the Chinese shoe,and has urged Russia to look at trade disputes "objectively and inhistorical perspective," said Liu.

Liu made the remark at a regular press conference concerning Chinese shoes seized in a Russian police raid in south Moscow on March 12.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Commerce and China's embassy in Russia "made representations to the relevant Russian department immediately after the incident," Liu said.

"This issue is very complicated," he said.

Liu urged both Chinese and Russian companies to carry out business according to law, referring the "gray customs clearance" as the cause of irregularities in Sino-Russian trade.

Chinese goods can enter Russia through "gray customs clearance," which is recognized by Russia's Customs Commission. However, retailers of goods that entered Russia through "gray clearance" have no official customs documents. China and Russia have agreed that until the issue of "gray customs clearance" is resolved, it is not acceptable for each side to take unilateral action such as seizing the goods.

"Problems should be properly resolved through negotiations by the Sino-Russian working team regulating trade," Liu said. He urged Russia to crackdown on its own illegal clearance companies.

"The case is still under investigation. The Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Commerce, together with other Chinese departments home and abroad, will continue to closely follow the latest progress so as to safeguard legitimate interest of Chinese companies and merchants in Russia," he said.

Generally speaking, Liu said, Sino-Russian trade is good, with bilateral trade volume hitting a new record high of 21.2 billion US dollars in 2004.

In the first two months of this year, the bilateral trade continued to grow stably, and the Chinese goods seizure issue is only an incident taking place in the process of regulating Sino-Russian trade, he said.

"China hopes to make joint efforts with Russia through friendly negotiations so as to regulate the bilateral trade order and push forward the healthy development of Sino-Russian economic and trade cooperation," Liu said. He also reminded Chinese merchants to getofficial customs declaration documents in Russia.

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