Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming on Thursday defended China's trade practices and stances, and rebuked the U.S. allegation that China was infringing intellectual property rights (IPRs).
Liu rejected the White House's allegations that China was "stealing" intellectual property from the United States and "forcing" U.S. firms to transfer technology.
China stands ready to work with the world to protect IPRs, Liu said.
The Chinese ambassador made the remarks in an online article published by British daily The Telegraph, in response to the recent U.S. decision to slap tariffs on Chinese goods in a unilateral and protectionist move going against World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
According to a recent report issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China was the second largest source of international patent applications filed in 2017 under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty. It is expected to overtake the United States, the largest source, within three years, Liu pointed out.
The WIPO report listed two Chinese technology companies, Huawei and ZTE, as the top filers of international patent applications in 2017.
Within China, the State Intellectual Property Office received nearly 1.4 million applications for invention patents in 2017, outnumbering the United States, Japan, South Korea and Europe combined, Liu said.
"These facts and figures speak loud and clear: China is becoming a world leader in scientific and technological innovation," the envoy remarked. "Such a level of innovative outcomes could not have been possible without stringent and robust efforts in IP protection."
He also pointed out that China underwent complete and systematic legal revisions around the time of its accession to the WTO in 2001. It established a full-fledged system of domestic IPR laws and regulations that conform to both international practice and China's national conditions.
The U.S. allegation of "forced technology transfer" is a clear excuse to suppress scientific innovation in China and protect its domestic industries, he said.
Calling the allegation "totally wrong," Liu said, "The fact is, China has taken firm actions against IPR infringements and never tolerated 'forced' technology transfers."
"The deals between Chinese and American companies are commercial actions and independent decisions of the companies involved after consultations on an equal basis."
Liu added that they are completely in line with business and market principles, and have created huge job opportunities for the United States.
"America is good at innovation but America does not hold the exclusive 'patent' on innovation," he said.
While pursuing an innovation-driven development strategy, which naturally leads to better IP protection, China is open to cooperation with like-minded partners including Britain and the European Union (EU).
"There is a high-degree of complementarity and broad prospect for cooperation between China and the UK, and between China and the EU on creative industry, and current cooperation on IP protection has produced notable results in terms of legislation, policies, data exchanges, IT (information technology) tools and personnel training," the ambassador said.
"China stands ready to work with the world to uphold open cooperation and protect IPR, with a view to delivering the benefits of scientific and technological innovation to everyone," he added.