China Denies U.S. Lax Piracy Policy Charge

China (search) is denying U.S. allegations that it is failing to do enough to stop rampant piracy of copyrights and other intellectual property (search), state media said Monday.

The Foreign Ministry insists that China has "always worked hard" to fight product piracy, China Radio International reported on its Web site.

"The Chinese government has all along attached importance to the protection of intellectual property rights," ministry spokesman Qin Gang was quoted as saying.

A report Friday by the U.S. trade representative said Beijing (search) was being put on a list of 14 countries that will receive special scrutiny due to rampant violations of intellectual property.

Industry groups say Chinese piracy of products ranging from designer clothes to movies to sporting goods costs legitimate producers billions of dollars a year in lost potential sales.

China has launched a series of anti-piracy crackdowns and imposed tougher penalties including prison terms for violators. But U.S. officials complain that abuses are still widespread.

"I think we've always worked hard to protect intellectual property rights," said Qin, the Foreign Ministry spokesman. "This position has been consistent."