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China 'actively' preparing appeal of WTO film order

By AFP

China said Monday it was "actively" getting ready to appeal a World Trade Organization decision ordering it to ease some of its curbs on foreign films, music and print.

"The commerce ministry is actively preparing the documents to appeal," commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian told reporters.

The WTO settlement dispute panel said last week China was breaching international trade rules by blocking foreign-owned companies from acting as importers and wholesalers of films, music and printed material.

The United States, which brought the complaint to the global trade watchdog in 2007, claimed overall victory in the dispute.

"We deem it improper that (the panel) did not reject the US request for the right to trade and distribution channels of printed material, audio-visual products and films," Yao said.

He said the Chinese cultural sector, which includes the film industry, had suffered a "huge" trade deficit, arguing its competitiveness was still weak.

"Against this backdrop, I think it is appropriate and just for China to impose some controls that are in line with the country's economic development stage and cultural and historical tradition," he said.

In its first response Thursday, China said it regretted the WTO decision but would only decide if it wanted to appeal after careful evaluation of the issues.

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