A US commerce official made fresh calls yesterday for China to further strengthen intellectual property protection ahead of the 2008 Olympics Games and open up its financial services market to foreign competition.
David Bohigian, US assistant secretary of commerce for market access and compliance, said the US will closely watch measures by the Chinese government to protect intellectual property in regard to the Olympics.
"It's extraordinarily important to think about intellectual property protection broadly. I do think that an important signal in that regard will be the ability of the Chinese government to control the licensing and merchandise as it relates to the Olympics," Bohigian said at a media briefing in Hong Kong.
"If they can control it there, they should be able to control it in every other sector," he said.
Bohigian flew here after attending a six-nation environmental and climate ministerial meeting in Sydney, Australia, earlier this week. He spent the past two days in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong meeting with government officials and businesses.
The US official also reiterated calls that China needs to improve market access to its services sector. The US has been pressuring Beijing to increase its imports of US-made products and trim the trade imbalance, which hit a record US$162 billion last year.
China had reassured Washington that it is committed to opening its financial markets but will do so at its own pace in order to maintain stability, Bohigian said.