The U.S. accusation that China is continuing a state-backed campaign of intellectual property and technology theft is based on hearsay and ignores reality, China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a press conference on Thursday.

China is very concerned about the report released by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office, and totally rejects the section 301 probe it’s based on, Gao says.

Key Insights

The question of intellectual property is at the root of the dispute between the U.S. and China, and there doesn’t seem to be any route to ending the trade war without solving the issue. The U.S. accuses China of forcing companies to provide access to technology to get into China’s market, while China rejects that claim. The U.S. has also charged Chinese citizens this year with spying on U.S. companies.

Key Comments

The 301 probe and related measures are based on domestic U.S. laws, and reflect unilaterialism and protectionism. It goes against U.S. pledges to all World Trade Organization members and destroys WTO rules.

China can’t accept this, and urges the U.S. to cease all talk and actions that disrupt bilateral economic relations. China calls upon the U.S. to take a constructive attitude to create a favorable environment to help normalize ties.

China and U.S. working-level groups have kept close contact to push forward the implementation of the agreement reached in the phone call between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump.

China is aware that the U.S. Department of Commerce is mulling plans to further restrict high-tech exports, and is evaluating the possible measures that U.S. could take.

China hopes the U.S. can take constructive action to improve the trade environment and create conditions to expand exports of its competitive products so as to reduce its trade deficit.

China will closely watch the legislative situation and take necessary measures to defend Chinese companies’ interests.

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