Beijing is confident it would beat Washington and Brussels if the dispute over textile exports goes to formal proceedings at the World Trade Organisation, according to the mainland's deputy chief WTO negotiator. 'If we cannot solve the disputes on Chinese exports of textile products with the United States and the European Union outside the WTO, we will take them to a formal proceeding at the WTO,' said Li Enheng , the mainland's deputy permanent representative to the WTO. He said Beijing would still prefer to resolve the issue through bilateral negotiations, but it had an edge over its developed counterparts if it decided to turn to the WTO's dispute-settlement mechanism for a solution. 'The edge is China's, and we will win the case if it is put before the WTO,' Mr Li said from his office in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday. He said the US and EU had cited clause 242 of China's WTO accession agreement to impose restrictive measures. Under the agreement, Beijing guaranteed orderly growth of textile exports to developed markets during a grace period from this year to 2008. He said Washington and Brussels would have to produce convincing evidence - such as concrete figures - to prove their domestic markets had been disrupted by surging imports of Chinese products. 'Based on the figures they provided to us, the US and EU have failed to do this.' On Monday, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai threatened to lodge a formal complaint with the WTO and accused the US and EU of practising 'protectionist' policies in their textile disputes with China. Mr Li said officials from the Ministry of Commerce were preparing for possible legal proceedings at the WTO and that his office stood ready to assist. Beijing also announced on Monday that it would scrap self-imposed export tariffs on 81 textile products after both the US and EU set limits on what they view as surges in imports from China. The clock started ticking last Friday on a 15-day period after which the EU will enforce curbs limiting imports of mainland T-shirts and flax yarn. The United States imposed quotas on trousers, underwear, shirts and other products earlier this month. Both the US and EU say their imports of mainland textiles have increased sharply since the scrapping of global quotas on January 1. Mr Li declined to speculate on when Beijing would formally refer the case to the WTO, adding that any decision would be made by the leadership. He said negotiations with the US and EU were ongoing despite an increase in tensions during the past week.