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Chinese PM says intellectual property rights must be protected

[Milan] Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said on Thursday that the only way to ensure future technological innovation is by protecting intellectual property rights, touching on an issue important to Western countries concerned about counterfeit goods.

"We must protect intellectual property rights," Mr Li said in a speech at a Milan university before attending a Europe-Asia summit. "I'm convinced that it will make the future more prosperous for science and technology."

China has often come under fire from Western countries for not doing enough to protect intellectual property rights and fight counterfeiting.

Mr Li spoke alongside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, with whom he signed 8 billion euros in commercial agreements on Tuesday.