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China regrets WTO ruling on publications import (08/13/09)

BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- China expressed regret Thursday over a World Trade Organization ruling against its regulations on the import and distribution of books and audio-visual products.

The decision by a WTO dispute panel to uphold a United States' appeal on those regulations was regrettable, said Yao Jian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce.

His statement follows the panel's officially distributing the report to WTO members on Wednesday.

The United States brought a complaint to the global trade watchdog in April, 2007 saying China was not providing enough access for imports of publications. 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," said Yao.

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.

"China will evaluate the panel's report and has not ruled out the possibility of appealing the ruling," he said.

China now has 60 days to lodge an appeal.



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