Thu, Mar 28, 2002 - Page 17 News List

China says WTO isn't an option to negotiate dispute

BLOOMBERG AND AP , BEIJING AND TAIPEI

China said it won't use the WTO to resolve disputes with Taiwan, two days after China said it was investigating whether Taiwan and four other steel exporters sold steel in China below cost.

Other countries targeted in the Chinese anti-dumping probe launched Saturday are South Korea, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

The investigation of Taiwan steelmakers is "China's internal affair," said Li Weiyi (李維一), spokesman for Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office.

Taiwan rejected China's claim. "We take an equal position as the People's Republic of China," said Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), vice chairman of Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council. "We want to remind all the people in the world we are a separate customs territory.'"

The investigation may take up to 18 months and could result in additional tariffs on steel imports from those countries.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) said Taiwan and China should discuss the dispute within the WTO framework.

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