China's vice commerce minister on Wednesday refuted claims that China was the one that started the "trade war" by forcing foreign firms to share technology, calling it "fake news" and "groundless."
"There is no law in China that forces foreign firms to transfer their technology to their Chinese partners," Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen told a press briefing.
As a developing country, it is completely in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules for China to ask foreign investors to establish joint venture enterprises when entering certain Chinese industries, said Wang.
Technology transfer between enterprises is voluntary based on mutual agreements without government intervention, he said.
Wang said China is firm in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR), noting that the country has improved its legal and administrative system on IPR protection and will continue to make progress in this regard.
By investigating alleged Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer practices, the United States has breached its promises that it will not determine whether other countries have violated WTO rules with the Section 301 investigation unilaterally and will deal with trade disputes strictly in accordance with WTO procedures, he said.
"Who has actually started the 'trade war?' The answer is self-evident," the vice minister said.