That round-eared mouse dancing with kids? Not a copy of Disney's Mickey Mouse, the Shijingshan Amusement Park insists. And that raven-haired woman with seven men in elf suits? Not Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
In a country awash in pirated music, movies and other goods, the state-owned Shijingshan park stands out.
"We do not have any agreements with Disney," its deputy general manager, Yin Zhiqiang, said on Wednesday. "The characters in our park just look a little bit similar to theirs. But the faces, clothes, sizes and appearances are different."
Such rampant Chinese copying has strained ties with the US, whose trade deficit with China soared to US$232.5 billion last year. Both governments are preparing for what are expected to be contentious talks from May 23 to May 24 in Washington on Beijing's trade policies, its currency and other issues.
On Wednesday, a Chinese delegation signed deals at a ceremony in San Francisco to buy US$4.3 billion in US technology in an apparent effort to ease US anger. The contracts went mostly to software, semiconductor and telecoms companies including Microsoft Corp, Oracle Corp, Cisco Systems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co.
China regularly makes such purchases of US jetliners, soybeans and other goods before high-level contacts.
But it was unclear what effect the latest buying spree might have on the souring US mood.
Facing rising criticism from Congress, the administration of US President George W. Bush has threatened trade penalties over product piracy. Washington last month filed a WTO complaint against Beijing.
Over the weeklong May Day holiday, the Shijingshan Amusement Park filled its grounds on Beijing's western suburbs with actors in costumes resembling Disney characters and other foreign characters.
A video shot by Japan's Fuji TV on Tuesday last week showed children cavorting with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Japan's Hello Kitty and Doraemon.
A banner over the entrance said, "Disney is too far, so please come to Shijingshan."
On Wednesday, the banner was down and none of the cartoon characters were on display. An employee who would give only her surname, Li, said the performances usually take place during the summer and holidays.
Lawyers for the park and the Walt Disney Co were in negotiations, said Yin, the deputy general manager of the park, which is owned by the government of Beijing's Shijingshan District.
"The results will come out in a couple of days," he said.
A Disney spokeswoman, Alannah Goss, declined to comment on the Shijingshan park but sent a statement affirming Disney's determination to fight copying.
"Disney values and protects its intellectual property vigorously and takes reports of suspected infringement very seriously," the statement said.
Despite the striking similarities to foreign characters, Yin insisted that the Beijing park's characters were all locally designed.
"Take our Cinderella as an example. The face of Disney's Cinderella face is European, but ours is a Chinese. She looks like a young Chinese country girl," Yin explained.
At the center of the park is a building labeled "Cinderella's Castle" on park maps.
It bears a striking resemblance to the original at Disneyland in California.
In a mixup of cartoon images, the castle ticket booth is built to look like Snow White, while a nearby statue of a woman with seven dwarves is Sleeping Beauty.
On Wednesday, two workmen with sledgehammers could be seen tearing down the statue. The park refused to say why.