European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, who is currently visiting China, has asked the government to open its markets wider to foreign competition and play a larger role in the trade talks.
Last year, the EU, China's largest export market, had a $133 billion trade deficit with China.
The EU says that European companies compete on "unfair terms" in China, due to lack of adequate legal protections and Chinese trade policies. It wants China to provide better legal protections for foreign businesses, stop demanding that European companies hand over technology to Chinese partners and end unfair subsidies to industry.
The trade commissioner will also ask China for tighter laws to combat piracy.
Mandelson said that China had benefited from World Trade Organization membership and should do more to steer the WTO negotiations in the Doha Round aimed at lowering global trade barriers.
The WTO agreed last month to launch a formal investigation of EU and US complaints that Chinese tariffs on auto parts imports violate free-trade rules.
also see : WTO
to examine Chinese tariffs on imported auto components