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China will appeal to the World Trade Organization against its ruling that China's regulation of its rare earth exports has violated WTO rules, an official said on Thursday.|
The appeal will be lodged Thursday, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said.
No matter the result, China will stick to its policy objective to protect resources and the environment, and will continue to boost management of resource industries following the WTO rules, said Shen.
The WTO in late March ruled that China had acted inconsistently with WTO rules with regard to export measures imposed on rare earth materials.
The European Union, Japan and the United States teamed up to bring a joint case in March 2012 to the WTO over China's measures on exports of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum. They claimed that the restriction had limited other countries' access to the minerals, given China a competitive advantage and hurt other producers and consumers.
Rare earths, a class of 17 mineral elements, are some of the most sought-after metals due to their vital role in green technologies like wind turbines and electric car batteries as well as in military sectors.
China, with its rare earth reserves accounting for some 23% of the global total, supplies over 90% of the world's market demand at the cost of causing much pollution. In contrast, some other countries also with rich reserves strictly limit rare earth production for environmental reasons.