China tries to stop illegal exports

CHINA said yesterday that illegal textile exports through third countries - the cause of a major trade dispute with the United States - were continuing despite punishment of four companies involved in the racket.

The People's Daily quoted Shi Guangsheng, vice minister of foreign trade and economic cooperation, as telling a national conference in the southern city of Guangzhou that his ministry, customs, and other departments had reduced the amount of illegal transshipments.

``But this problem has not been completely resolved,'' he said. ``Some firms, especially Sino-foreign joint ventures and rural enterprises, still do not understand the issue clearly and are continuing these fraudulent activities.'' To avoid quota restrictions on Chinese exports, especially to the United States, transshippers produce textiles in China but label them as having been made elsewhere. China sold $7.2 billion worth of textiles and clothing to the US in 1993, US figures show.

After months of difficult talks, Washington and Beijing signed a three-year textile agreement in January in which they agreed to limit China's exports and to crack down on quota-busting.

Washington has threatened that if China does not take effective action to end transshipments, it will risk losing a major chunk of its biggest overseas textile market.

Industry analysts say the problem remains widespread, however, with the products of Chinese transshipment factories readily available at local free markets - and bearing labels of everywhere from Turkey to the Dominican Republic. Rolls Royce drives into China

CHINA, the world's largest remaining officially Communist state, is about to get that quintessential artifact of capitalism - a Rolls Royce distributor.

Increasingly market-oriented China is already a key area for Rolls Royce and for Inchcape Pacific, the Asian arm of the British firm Inchcape Plc., which has the rights to sell Rolls Royce cars, Jaguars, and other brands in Hong Kong and China.

Details, including the location of the distributorship, were not available pending a formal announcement on April 19.

About 50 Rolls Royces have been sold to Chinese buyers through Inchcape Pacific's Hong Kong operations in the past two years. Jaguar entered China last October and Ferrari opened a Beijing showroom in February.

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