SHANGHAI • Chinese state media yesterday criticised the United States for its complaints about intellectual property (IP) theft, calling them a "political tool" intended to suppress China's economic development.
The US has lobbed complaints about Chinese theft of technology as trade tensions mount between the world's two biggest economies.
An op-ed article in the People's Daily targeted the Section 301 report Washington issued in March last year, saying the authors fabricated the claim that China stole hundreds of billions of dollars worth of intellectual property from the US.
"If the report is based on imagined or selective data, it's a kind of science fiction novel," it said. "Intellectual property rights should be a bridge for innovation and cooperation among countries. In the hands of the US, it has become a political tool, a weapon to contain other countries, and a veil for bullying the world."
China has become a world leader in protecting intellectual property rights, it added. "China has established a relatively thorough and high-standard legal system for intellectual property, and continuously strengthens the judicial protection of intellectual property," the article said.
In January, US federal prosecutors began probing Chinese telecommunications equipment provider Huawei Technologies for allegedly attempting to steal technology from American carrier T-Mobile US Inc. Huawei has pleaded not guilty.
Separately, China's official Xinhua news agency yesterday condemned the spreading of "false news", after some websites published a year-old alert announcing a ceasefire in the Sino-US trade dispute.
The one-line item, originally published on May 20 last year, gave no details but US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that day that the trade war with China was "on hold", following an agreement to set up a framework for addressing trade imbalances.