The flags of China, US and the Chinese Communist Party are displayed in a flag stall at the Yiwu Wholesale Market in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, China. File photo/Reuters
The United States has “fabricated” accusations that China forces firms to hand over technology in exchange for market access, China’s top Communist Party newspaper said on Saturday, the latest salvo in a bitter trade war.
China announced this week it would retaliate against a move by Washington to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports amid complaints Beijing had done little to resolve US concerns about the theft of intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology to Chinese firms.
The People’s Daily said in an editorial China had never forced US firms to hand over technology and the claim was “an old-fashioned argument used by some people in the United States to suppress China’s development.”
“The US argument about the ‘forced transfer of technology’ can be described as being fabricated from thin air,” it said. The United States had not yet been able to provide any evidence to back up the claims, the editorial said.
It said the United States benefited substantially from voluntary technological cooperation, earning $7.96 billion in intellectual property use fees in 2016 alone. Washington’s “fragile nerves” were caused by China’s own rapidly growing research and development capabilities, the paper said.
The increasingly acrimonious dispute between the world’s top two economies has rattled investors and roiled global markets. The United States said negotiations were likely to resume soon but China said no fixed date had been set yet and Washington needed to show sincerity in any new round of talks.
The United States and China said they made progress in trade talks that concluded on Friday in Beijing that Washington called “candid and constructive” as the world’s two largest economies try to resolve a bitter, nearly nine-month trade war.
US FedEx Corp on Friday again apologised and blamed Washington’s ban on Huawei for being “unclear” as Beijing deepened an investigation into why the delivery firm was holding up packages meant for the telecoms equipment maker.
Chinese firms, willing to buy American agricultural products, have asked for prices from US firms and will sign commercial contracts, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a news conference.
Polls opened on Saturday in Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state in a vote seen as a referendum for embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s 7-month-old unelected government.
New Zealand reported two new coronavirus cases on Saturday -- one in managed isolation and the other detected during contact tracing, taking the overall tally to 1,475, according to the Ministry of Health.
Togolese Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou and his government tendered their resignation on Friday, the presidency said in a statement, congratulating the Cabinet for its work in office.
South Korea said on Saturday it will request North Korea to further investigate the killing of a South Korean government official who was shot by North Korean troops after being found adrift near the rivals’ disputed sea boundary while apparently trying to defect.