BEIJING (Reuters) - China's commerce ministry said on Thursday that its months-long crackdown on intellectual property rights violations was not a response to probes by other countries.


Protection of intellectual property rights is important to China, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.


Earlier this month, the ministry said China had launched a campaign targeting theft of business secrets and knock offs of well-known brands, and had taken steps to protect copyrighted material.


(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)