China and Balkans on IT industry's mind

Anti-NATO feeling could spill over into trade

Three days of demonstrations against the Nato bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade is likely to have an impact on US IT companies hoping to capitalise on the country's trade opportunities. And fears are arising that China will also take a tougher stand on Taiwan, which it claims as part of its territory. The Chinese government today cut off contacts with the US government at the highest level on discussions on arms and human rights. That will have an impact on China's proposed admission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). And anti-Western feeling is growing in China's major cities, with the UK government advising Britons not to travel unless absolutely necessary, while Western journalists have also been threatened by the mob. China periodically rattles its sabre at Taiwan, which is the engine of the IT industry, but the mainland has been keen to allow the island to flourish, because of the knock-on effect it has on its own economy. Four Chinese citizens, including two journalists, were killed in Belgrade when a "smart bomb" smashed into the country's embassy. The US government and NATO have blamed the CIA for giving wrong information. While NATO has apologised to the Chinese government, the latter has rejected its apology as "wholly inadequate". ®

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