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Media: China blocked the European Union’s request for the World Trade Organization to set up a panel of arbitrators

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Beijing, December 20: China has blocked a request by the European Union for the World Trade Organization to set up arbitration panels to resolve disputes with China, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.

China blocked the European Union’s efforts to hold two hearings on the dispute at the World Trade Organization.

The publication notes that the EU will again be asked to consider the cases. At this point, the paper writes, China will no longer be able to veto it “because member states can only block such requests once.”
Earlier, the European Commission reported that the European Union had asked the World Trade Organization to set up arbitration committees to resolve two disputes with China initiated by the European Union.

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In response, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China said that China will resolutely protect its legitimate rights and interests. The Chinese ministry stressed that China has always carried out foreign trade in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization, adding that the Chinese side regrets the decision of the European Union.

The European Union has already initiated procedures on issues within the framework of the organization, the first stage of which is bilateral consultations. Suppose such consultations do not lead to a resolution of the dispute. In that case, the plaintiff may request the WTO to set up a panel of arbitrators for the organization to resolve the dispute.

One of the two cases concerns trade restrictions imposed by China in December 2021 on Lithuanian and EU exports containing Lithuanian components. The second is that since August 2020, China has been preventing companies with high-tech patents from defending their rights in non-Chinese courts, including EU courts.

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