World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy yesterday warned Beijing that free-trade agreements could harm the nation's interests in the long term and called on the government to do more to protect intellectual property. Beijing is negotiating free-trade agreements (FTAs) with several countries and groupings, including Australia, New Zealand and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. But during his first trip to the mainland as director-general of the global trade body, Mr Lamy said trade agreements negotiated on a bilateral or regional basis were 'discriminatory' towards others. 'These may serve China's geopolitical interests or short-term commercial interests, but not China's systemic interests in the long run.' Beijing should not consider such agreements an alternative to the WTO given its trade volume, he said. Accords between other countries which excluded China could hurt the nation's exports. Experts say China has turned to trade agreements to strengthen its political position in the Asian region. The moves also come after the collapse of WTO talks under the Doha round last July because of differences over the agriculture issue. Mr Lamy is visiting the mainland in part to push Beijing to play a greater role in restarting the stalled trade talks. 'A successful Doha round can provide China a stable and predictable global trading environment and offer the prospects for another 10-year period of peaceful economic development. Without the Doha round and without a well-functioning WTO, China could well be one of the biggest victims.' Speaking at the same seminar, Vice-Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun said Beijing supported a return to talks 'as soon as possible'. However, Mr Lamy said he was still waiting for concrete proposals on agricultural subsidies and market access even after meeting Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Tuesday. The WTO chief gave China good marks for meeting its commitments since joining the trade body five years ago, though he pointed to a handful of problems including weak protection of intellectual property. 'I would like to take the opportunity to encourage the Chinese government to continue its efforts in this direction.'