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WTO upholds panel ruling on Chinese publications imports
Published on: 2009-12-22
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GENEVA, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO)'s top arbitration body on Monday upheld a previous panel ruling against Chinese regulations on the imports and distribution of books and audio-visual products.

The Appellate Body said in a report that the Chinese regulations are not in compliance with world trade rules.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry had expressed regret over the previous panel ruling issued on Aug. 12 on the U.S.-China dispute, in which the United States accuses China of not providing enough access for imports of publications and audio-visual products.

The case involves publications such as books and newspapers, audio and video products including CDs, DVDs and games, and music downloading services.

"China has always fulfilled its obligations on market access for publications and the channels for foreign publications, films and audio-visual products entering Chinese market are extremely open," the ministry said in August.

China lodged an appeal over the panel ruling on Sept. 22.

The seven-member Appellate Body issued its report after three months of examination of the U.S.-China dispute.

Like the WTO expert panel report issued in August, the Appellate Body report largely supports the U.S. allegations. It called on China to revise its import regulations so as to bring them in line with WTO rules.

China has imported approximately 500,000 titles of publications of all kinds every year since joining the WTO in 2001, as promised in its entry agreement, the Chinese Commerce Ministry had said.

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