China is prepared to widen negotiation attempts with the EU in order to protect the livelihood of its textiles sector, director of foreign trade Lu Jianhua said.

'The commerce ministry will try all possible ways to protect the rights of Chinese exporters," Lu said in an interview on the ministry's website.

Lu gave the statement in the run up to a meeting between China's top trade delegate Gao Hucheng and EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, which is taking place in Brussels today.

China said it was raising tariffs on a range of its textile exports after the EU and the US took precautionary steps to curb a surge in Chinese imports after trade quotas ended at the start of 2005.

However, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce Chong Quan was quoted by The Asian Wall Street Journal as saying that the country may cancel some of the increases if the EU and US take action to restrict those products.