The cream of the international recorded music industry today called on the European Commission to help solve China's overwhelming music piracy issues.

European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson met with a heavyweight industry team which included Dramatico Entertainment chairman Mike Batt; Sony BMG COO Tim Bowen; EMI Music International chairman/CEO J.F. Cecillon; UMGI president Asian pacific, executive VP marketing and A&R Max Hole; and IFPI chairman/CEO John Kennedy.

The sleeping giant that is China's recorded music market would not get awoken until the country's online piracy problem was cracked, the business delegation told Mandelson.

Internet piracy, the IFPI estimates, is more than 99% of the overall digital market.

And despite its population of more than 1.3 billion, China's recorded music market was worth only €56 million ($81 million) in 2006, of which €21 million ($30 million) came from digital outlets.

Physical piracy is estimated at 85% of the overall market, and physical piracy product is valued at about €300 million ($39 million).

"When the recording industry tries to defend its copyright against online piracy in China," said Kennedy in a statement, "it is blocked by a combination of heavy procedural rules, woefully low levels of damages and injunctions too narrow to prevent ongoing infringement." He added, "Chinese law has simply not kept pace with he explosion of online piracy."

Online piracy will be on the agenda at the EU-China Summit, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 28 in Beijing.