China says 'cannot accept' new US trade accusations

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 22 2018 08:01 PM

BEIJING - China said Thursday that it "cannot accept" Washington's latest accusations of unfair trade practices as the two economic giants exchanged barbs ahead of a key meeting between their presidents later this month.

In an update to an earlier investigation into China's trade practices, Washington on Tuesday accused Beijing of failing to change its "unfair" trade practices, and said the country "appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months".

China's commerce ministry blasted the new report in a regular press conference Thursday.

"The US carried out a so-called 'update' report, making new unwarranted accusations against China, which are completely groundless and disregard the facts, China cannot accept this," said ministry spokesman Gao Feng.

American authorities accuse China of seeking global industrial dominance in cutting-edge sectors like robotics and renewable energy through a variety of illicit means.

Those include stealing American intellectual property by forcing or pressuring US companies present in China to surrender it or through state-sponsored corporate acquisitions, hacking and industrial espionage as well as massive state subsidies and dumping.

Trump has enacted punishing tariffs on more than $250 billion in imports from China, which has in turn put counter-tariffs on more than $100 billion in goods China buys from the United States.

"We hope the US will stop its words and deeds that damage bilateral economic and trade ties and adopt a constructive attitude to return relations to the right track," Gao told reporters.

US President Donald Trump is set to discuss the trade issues with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Argentina, which starts on November 30.