China’s Commerce Ministry on Thursday criticized a U.S. decision to launch a trade probe of Beijing’s technology policy as an attack on the global trading system and said it will “resolutely defend” Chinese companies.
Trade groups welcomed President Donald Trump’s Aug. 14 order to look into whether Beijing improperly requires companies to hand over technology as a condition of market access. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced a formal investigation this week.
The action improperly applies U.S. law instead of international rules and is “the destruction of the existing international trade system,” said a ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, at a news briefing.
“We are strongly dissatisfied with this unilateral and protectionist practice and will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese side and Chinese enterprises,” said Gao.
Beijing requires automakers and other foreign companies in China to work through joint ventures, usually