HONG KONG- China regrets the European Union had decided to mount a legal challenge against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Chinese commerce ministry said on Friday.

The EU filed a challenge over what it says is a Chinese failure to allow European companies to protect their patents for telecoms technology. 

In reponse to questions regarding the EU's challenge in the WTO, the ministry said in a statement it has always upheld the multilateral trading system, and will resolutely safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests.

(Reporting by Meg Shen and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Angus MacSwan) ((meg.shen@thomsonreuters.com; 852-39525805;))