China, US exports row

Beijing, November 22:

China’s commerce ministry said it regrets a US decision to probe into China’s exports of coated paper used for brochures, magazines and wrapping paper.

The US decision to launch an anti-subsidy probe into China’s coated free sheet paper is not in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but also violates US laws, ministry of commerce spokesman Chong Quan said in a statement published on the ministry’s Web site yesterday.

“China will pay close attention to the development of the issue, and reserve any right to protect China’s proper interests,” the statement said. US department of commerce decided to start an anti-subsidy probe into China’s coated free sheet paper earlier this week, according to the statement.

Coated free sheet paper is used in commercial printing applications such as annual reports, product sales brochures, or advertising pamphlets that need higher image quality and colour. The official Xinhua News Agency reported every year China exports 300,000 to 500,000 tonnes of coated paper, which includes high-quality glossy paper used for magazines or wrapping paper.

Poorest getting poorer

BEIJING: Inequality is on the rise in officially socialist China, with the poorest becoming even worse off, a report stated citing new research by the World Bank. The real income of the poorest 10 per cent of the population declined by 2.4 per cent in the period from 2001 to 2003, the Financial Times reported. In the same period, China’s richest 10 per cent saw their incomes rise by more than 16 per cent.

“Preliminary analysis on Chinese data indicates that average income of the bottom (10 per cent) went down slightly between 2001 and 2003.” — AFP