Informations and abstract
Keywords: China, wto, Natural Resources, wto-Plus Obligations, Export Restrictions
China's accession to the wto dates back to 2001. In spite of its few years' membership, Beijing is now a key player within the multilateral trade system and its dispute settlement mechanism. Being the global leader in mining raw materials and rare earths, and applying many export restrictions on those goods during the last years, China has been attacked before the wto by, inter alia, the European Union and the United States, claiming that Chinese export duties and quotas on metals and minerals were infringing the wto-plus obligation to eliminate export duties and the gatt prohibition of quantitative restrictions. The present article analyses the Panel and Appellate Body reports in the China - Raw Materials case, showing the relationship between free trade, the principle of permanent sovereignty on natural resources, environmental and health protection, and the principle of sustainable development. Furthermore, the article highlights the remarkable skills and ability reached by China within the wto dispute settlement system in spite of its short membership to the Marrakech treaty-system.