- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 15, 2007

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities destroyed 42 million pirated digital video discs, compact discs, computer software and illegal publications in the government’s latest campaign to curtail rampant theft of intellectual property, state press reported.

The Saturday campaign was a response to a pair of complaints filed Tuesday by the U.S. against Beijing in the World Trade Organization over product piracy and market access.

Workers across the country set fire to 30 million pieces of smuggled and pirated audio and video materials, software and 11 million copies of pirated and illegally published books and magazines, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“Through the act of destruction, we wish to show to the world the firm determination of the Chinese government in protecting intellectual property,” Long Xinmin, chief of the State Press and Publication Administration, was quoted as saying in the report.

Mr. Long added that the campaign also was meant to “improve the awareness of the general public in fighting against pornography and illegal publications.”

Xinhua said a quarter of the contraband material was destroyed in Guangdong, the economically dynamic southern province that abuts Hong Kong.

Law-enforcement officers in the provincial capital of Guangzhou used shredding machines to get rid of 10 million pirated discs and 500,000 illegal publications, the report said.

China on Wednesday warned that the U.S. complaints against Beijing at the WTO could damage commercial relations between the two countries. The complaints accuse China of violating its trade commitments by failing to stop product piracy and of blocking market access for U.S.-produced books, movies and music.

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