Beijing: The Chinese government has protested India's ban on Chinese toy imports and is likely to ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) to probe it, a newspaper here reported Wednesday.
The move came after India announced a six-month ban on toy imports from China Jan 23.
However, the Indian government gave no reason for the ban effective immediately. The Indian media said it was aimed at protecting Indian manufacturers from being squeezed by the cheaper Chinese products, the English language newspaper China Daily Newspaper reported Wednesday.
Experts said it was a sign that China would be leveraging WTO rules to help protect its manufacturers from illegal trade barriers and punitive measures by its trading partners at a time when protectionism was growing amid the global economic recession.
"The ban can't hold water. The Indian side is doomed to lose in the court if the Chinese government appealed to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body", the newspaper quoted Fu Donghui, managing director of Allbright Law Firm Beijing, as saying.
Toy imports from China each year accounted for more than 50 percent of the retailing market in India, with an estimated value at more than $500 million in 2007.
China produced about 70 percent of toys worldwide and the southern business hub Guangdong Province contributed about 70 percent of that total.
The newspaper said many toy manufacturers in the region had complained about the imports cut by India.
A similar case happened in December when China asked the WTO to investigate anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties imposed by the US on four categories of imports from China.
Fu said the Chinese government earlier used to keep silent, but now the country would approach the WTO to prevent trade partners from abusing the WTO rules.