Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs!

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BEIJING, CHINA: With the possibliity of more than $1 billion in potential sanctions looming, Chinese officials insisted at a Tuesday press conference that they have "effectively controlled" piracy of films, compact disks and software. Citing last year's bilateral agreement on intellectual property, American trade representative Mickey Kantor cautioned that the sanctions could be enforced if China does not live up to its side of the bargain, and President Clinton chooses not to grant a waver. The warning has the Chinese grandly flourishing their efforts to convince the U.S. that they are complying before the deal is reviewed on February 26, a peculiar juxtaposition with China's aggressive foreign policy. Time's Lew Simons reports: "Even if the U.S. does impose sanctions, the Chinese are unlikely to change their policy. I am not certain that the Chinese have the capacity to control piracy, but even if they can, nothing indicates their willingness to do so. It is very lucrative."