China Says It Trades Fairly

China has appealed a World Trade Organization ruling that it unfairly restricts the sale of music, films and books from the United States.

The WTO found that Beijing’s policy of forcing American media producers to go through state-owned companies to sell their wares in China violates free trade principles.

For as long as the West has been doing business in the communist country, it has complained of such limiting practices.

The original complaints were made by trade associations representing record labels like EMI and Sony Music, as well as book publishers and, to a lesser extent, movie studios.

The WTO did not rule on the complaint that China’s review of foreign goods for objectionable content was illegal. However, it did reject a U.S. claim that censorship of American content hampered sales in China.

In the past, China tended to settle such disputes diplomatically, but the appeal indicates that it intends to throw its weight as an emerging economic powerhouse to battle the ruling by legal means through the WTO’s dispute settlement system.