US Commerce Secretary Don Evans has blasted China's poor record on intellectual property rights with a little help from Hollywood blood and gore master Quentin Tarantino.
Evans told members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on Tuesday it took him barely 24 hours to find pirated versions of Tarantino's latest cult film, Kill Bill.
"It didn't take long; in the last 24 hours I was able to purchase a (video) CD on the streets of Beijing," Evans said.
"This is a movie that is beginning to enter the movie theatres in the United States," he said, holding up a copy of the bloody thriller by Tarantino.
"Our two children are going to see the movie; they will pay $8 or $9 at the movie theatre. I bought this for $1."
Evans did not say if his children were old enough to see the action film that some have criticised for its graphic violence, nor was it clear if he was aware that the movie, starring Uma Thurman and David Carradine, was partly filmed in Beijing.
"It didn't take long; in the last 24 hours I was able to purchase a (video) CD on the streets of Beijing"
Commerce Secretary, US
According to his aides, Evans bought Kill Bill and a copy of Intolerable Cruelty, starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "because the films had just begun their run in movie theatres in the US and were not available in stores in video or DVD format."
The contraband was purchased in Beijing's central business district close to the Beijing Friendship Store after Evans arrived on Monday afternoon, the aides said.
Both Europeans and Americans have been turning up the heat on China over its poor record on the protection of intellectual property.
When US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick visited Beijing last week, he told his Chinese hosts they must do a better job at ending rampant piracy and counterfeiting of foreign products.