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China, US pledge to work together to balance trade, fight piracy


BEIJING, Nov 20 (AFP): China and the United States pledged today to work together to resolve growing trade frictions arising from a ballooning US trade deficit and rampant copyright violations by Beijing.
Speaking following a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, US President George W Bush said the United States and China were "important trading partners" and stressed both gained from a system of free and fair trade.
"We'll continue to work with China to open up (Chinese) markets and level the playing field for American goods and services and work with China to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights," Bush said.
Hu vowed to work towards a more balanced trade.
"The two sides also expressed their willingness to join hands together to gradually achieve balanced trade between China and the United States in the process of further expanding trade between the two countries," Hu said.
Hu pledged to take further measures to crack down on copyright violations, which the United States said is costing US businesses millions of dollars.
The leaders' statements coincided with an announcement by US aerospace giant Boeing that it had signed a four-billion-dollar deal Sunday to supply eight Chinese airlines with 70 737 aircraft between 2006 and 2008.
The signing was part of a broader deal to supply 150 737 aircraft, but the delivery for the other 80 planes will be after 2008 and has not yet been finalised, Boeing's China spokesman George Liu said.
Trade has proven to be one of the most frequent sources of dispute between the two countries as more products sold in the United States are made in China and more US companies want to do business there.
US Trade Representative Rob Portman this month said China "still falls short in a number of areas" in meeting its market-opening promises made when it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001.