Chinese officials vowed to step up the government's copyright enforcement this week ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington, DC next week.
China's top police official Gao Feng told a televised audience that more than 4,000 people have been arrested since a new crackdown on counterfeiters and copyright violators launched last August, according to the Associated Press.
"This shows that police have been fighting against intellectual property crimes, but it also shows that such crimes are still rampant. Therefore, we need to strengthen the punishment for intellectual property infringement crimes," said Gao, who is deputy chief of the Bureau of Economic Crime Investigation under the Ministry of Public Security.
Both President Obama's administration, as well as key members of the U.S. Congress have been pressing Chinese government officials to improve their copyright enforcement efforts over the past year.
Both majority and minority leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa are actively engaged in pushing the International Trade Commission to produce reports that quantify the impact of China's intellectual property infringement on the U.S. economy.
The first report was issued in December. The second is scheduled to be issued this coming May.