Taiwan yesterday objected to the proposed appointment of a Chinese judge to the WTO's top court, causing the session to be adjourned, a source from the Chinese delegation said.
Chinese lawyer Zhang Yeujiao (張月姣) was one of four candidates set to be named to the WTO's seven-member Appellate Body, which issues rulings in key trade disputes, during the meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).
She is the first candidate from China to any WTO post since the Asian giant joined the global trade body in 2001.
Taiwan's delegate refused to discuss the nomination of new judges and called for the subject to be removed from the DSB's agenda, a member of China's WTO delegation said.
The other member states present rejected the Taiwanese move and insisted the agenda be discussed on an "all or nothing" basis. In the absence of a compromise, the meeting was adjourned indefinitely, the Chinese source said.
The suspension of the DSB means no ruling is likely on a complaint by the US over Chinese restrictions on importing cultural goods such as books, music and DVDs.
China last month blocked a US request that the DSB rule on the dispute, but it was set to be automatically adopted during the current session.
Brazil and Canada were also due to request DSB panels over their complaints against US agricultural subsidies.