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 as it also vowed boost imports to balance trade flows.

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.

In addition, China will boost imports to make its trade structure more balanced, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday in Beijing.

China runs a massive trade surplus and has been accused by other countries of restricting access to its markets in order to protect domestic industry.

—CNBC contributed to this report.

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