The U.S. has no clear and convincing evidence to justify its accusation of China’s economic aggression and technology transfer coercion, said He Weiwen, a senior researcher at the Center for China and Globalization (CCG).
A China-U.S. trade friction seminar was jointly held by the CCG and Hudson Institute on July 30 amid the deadlock between the world’s two largest economies. Experts from the two think tanks expressed their views on this tricky issue.
As for the accusation of forced technology transfer from foreign companies, He, also a former economic and commercial counselor of the China Consulate General in the U.S., pointed out that the report is without practical facts and data, referring to a line about “coercive and intrusive regulatory gambits to force technology transfer from foreign companies…” in the White House’s report about China’s alleged economic aggression.
Eighty-one percent of the members of the U.S.-China Business Council said that no such request was made from the Chinese government, according to the council's Business Environment Survey data. The remaining 19 percent said a request came from Chinese business partners, not the government.
In addition, the U.S. government also grants necessary support and subsidies to its companies, making the accusation far-fetched.
The report regards the foreign ownership restriction measures taken by China as evidence of compulsory technology transfer, citing the U.S. state department and American Chamber of Commerce reports but no specific facts are provided. The foreign ownership restriction, however, is by no means technology transfer coercion.
During the World Manufacturing Industry Conference in Hefei, China’s Anhui Province, this May, Whirlpool Corporation announced the establishment of its global research and development center in the city. Also, the president of Volkswagen China announced that the JAC Volkswagen new energy vehicle was off the assembly line. Neither company said that China has a compulsory technology transfer request.
All appeals and consultation should be carried out under the WTO framework. If China has specific cases that do not comply with the WTO rules, they should be corrected in accordance with the WTO rules. If there are no specific facts, the report on China’s economic aggression is groundless.
Misunderstandings and barriers also exist between the U.S. and China as various voices distorted the information about China-U.S. trade, said Michael Pillsbury, director of the Center on Chinese Strategy of Hudson Institute.
Pillsbury believes that trade issues are just trade issues. However, they should be specific, and the relationship between the two powers should not be affected.