China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the U.S. to stop abusing judicial power to target Chinese researchers and vowed to firmly protect Chinese citizens, after the U.S. accused Chinese nationals of stealing trade secrets and violating sanctions by seeking to export sensitive technology.
"We urge the U.S. to discard the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, stop the wanton accusation and suppression against China in the field of technology, and stop abusing judicial power to target Chinese researchers," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing on Wednesday.
The remarks were made in response to a question regarding the U.S. government's recent announcement of legal charges against several Chinese and Russian citizens accused of "stealing trade secrets and attempting to export sensitive technologies in violation of sanctions."
One of the Chinese citizens was previously a software engineer at Apple who was accused of stealing thousands of documents containing the source code for software and hardware pertaining to Apple's autonomous vehicle technology, according to the U.S. government report.
In response to the U.S.' move, Wang said that the U.S. created the Disruptive Technology Strike Force, and has kept stretching the national security concept to abuse export control regimes and its leading technological advantage.
The U.S. has politicized, instrumentalized and weaponized tech issues, and sought to thwart other countries' technological advancement - all these are clear examples of hegemonic, high-handed, and bullying acts, he further noted.
"China will do what is necessary to firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens," the spokesperson said.
The U.S.' targeting of Chinese firms and nationals has been part of its relentless attempt to contain Chinese technological development. In order to maintain its hegemony, the U.S. has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export control measures and even coerced some of its allies to join its containment strategy, which seriously violates the principles of market economy rules and fair competition, experts said.