The U.S. 301 Section investigation report aims to check the rise of China's manufacturing sector, economists have pointed out.
The United States issued the 301 Section investigation report last month, accusing China of forced technology transfer for U.S. companies via requirements for joint-ventures and shareholding shares as well as imposing concrete restrictions and interventions on U.S. firms in China.
"It's groundless to say China is forcing technology transfer," said Zhu Baoliang, chief economist with the State Information Center, adding that technology transfers are voluntary actions of enterprises and the Chinese government has no restrictive rules.
Zhang Yalin, a member of the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee (NMSAC), pointed out that China has opened up most of its general manufacturing sector and has a mechanism to review fair market competition.
"Foreign firms enjoy obvious benefits from joint-ventures. They can access the Chinese market and enter the global supply chain with reduced costs and better competitiveness," Zhang said.
The U.S. report hinted at the Made in China 2025 plan, with its proposed tariff list covering the same manufacturing sectors as the plan.
Made in China 2025 is a plan to modernize the manufacturing sector with development targets for ten subsectors including information technology and robotics.
The plan is in line with the new wave of global industrialization.
"If such a plan is used as reason for trade friction, it is essentially an attempt to deprive China of its right to development. That is hegemony," said Huang Qunhui of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Qu Xianming, also member of the NMSAC, said Made in China 2025 is market-oriented without links to government policy or investment, and none of the targets and requirements are binding.