II. Clarifications of the facts about China-US trade and economic cooperation

In its Section 301 report and other ways, the current US administration stigmatizes China by accusing it of "economic aggression", "unfair trade", "IPR theft" and "national capitalism". This is a gross distortion of the facts in China-US trade and economic cooperation. This is disrespectful to the Chinese government and people as well as incompatible with the real interests of the American people.

China SCIOUpdated: September 30, 2018

Economic cooperation and trade between the two countries is so huge, substantive and broad-based, with so many players, that it is inevitable for some differences and friction to emerge. The two countries need to take a comprehensive perspective, keep in mind their strategic interests and the international order, properly handle their differences by seeking common ground while shelving differences, and take practical steps to resolve their tensions. However, in its Section 301 report and other ways, the current US administration stigmatizes China by accusing it of "economic aggression", "unfair trade", "IPR theft" and "national capitalism". This is a gross distortion of the facts in China-US trade and economic cooperation. It turns a blind eye to the huge progress in China's reform and opening-up as well as the dedication and hard work of the Chinese people. This is disrespectful to the Chinese government and people as well as incompatible with the real interests of the American people. It will only aggravate differences and tensions, which in the end will damage the fundamental interests of both countries.

1. The gap in trade in goods alone is not a good indicator of China-US trade and economic cooperation.

An objective understanding and assessment of China-US trade balance calls for comprehensive and in-depth study, rather than a glance at the trade deficit in goods. It is not China's intention to have a trade surplus. Rather, the ratio of China's current account surplus to its GDP has declined from 11.3% in 2007 to 1.3% in 2017. The imbalance of trade in goods between China and the US is more of a natural outcome of voluntary choices the US has made in economic structure and market in the light of its comparative strengths. To resolve this issue, both sides need to make concerted efforts in restructuring. The United States turns a blind eye to various factors in its trade and economic cooperation with China, singles out the imbalance of trade in goods, and blames China for the imbalance, which is unfair and unreasonable.

China-US trade and economic cooperation delivers balanced benefits in general. The imbalance of trade in goods between the two countries has evolved over time. From the 1980s to early 1990s, the US ran a surplus in its trade with China; in 1992 China began to run surplus, which has continued to grow.

In today's world of greater globalization and widespread international production, bilateral trade and economic cooperation already extend beyond trade in goods. Trade in services and sales of local subsidiaries in the host country (local sales in two-way investment) should also be included. If we give full consideration to these three factors—trade in goods, trade in services and sales of local subsidiaries in the host country, trade and economic cooperation delivers balanced benefits in general for China and the United States, with the latter reaping more net benefits. (See Chart 4)According to MOFCOM, the US ran a surplus of US$54.1 billion in trade in services in 2017, indicating its remarkable competitive strength in this area. According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the sales of US companies in China reached US$481.4 billion in 2015, way higher than the US$25.6 billion sales of Chinese companies in the US, an advantage of US$455.8 billion. US companies enjoy an even bigger advantage in cross-border operations. In June 2018, Deutsche Bank released a report on calculating economic interests between the US and its major trading partners, arguing that, from the perspective of commercial interests, the US has in fact gained more commercial net benefits than China from their two-way trade, given the impact of global operations by multinational corporations on bilateral trade and economic cooperation. According to Deutsche Bank, after contributions from subsidiaries of third countries are taken away, the US enjoyed net benefits of US$20.3 billion in 2017.1

Chart 4: China-US Trade and Economic Cooperation Delivers Balanced Benefits in General (2009-2015, unit: US$1 billion)

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), USDOC.

The gap in China-US trade in goods is a natural outcome of the US economic structure, and a result of the two countries' comparative strengths and the international division of labor. The persistent and growing gap in trade in goods between the two countries is a result of a number of factors, rather than China's intent.

First, it is a natural outcome of a low savings rate in the US. From the perspective of national accounts, the balance of a country's current account is decided by the relationship between savings and investment. The US economy is characterized by low savings and high consumption. Savings have been lower than investment for many years. In the first quarter of 2018, the US net national savings rate was as low as 1.8%. To balance its domestic economy, the US has to attract a large amount of foreign savings by trade deficit. This is the fundamental cause of the US trade deficit over the years. The US began to run trade deficits in its foreign trade in 1971, and by 2017 it was running trade deficits with 102 countries. The US trade deficit is an endogenous, structural and sustained economic phenomenon. The current trade deficit of the US with the rest of the world has shifted among its trading partners and resides with China for the time being.

Second, it is a fair reflection of the complementarity and comparative strengths of Chinese and US industries. In terms of trade mix, China's trade surplus with the US mainly comes from labor-intensive products and manufactured goods, and its trade deficit with the US lies in capital- and technology-intensive products such as aircraft, integrated circuits, and automobiles, as well as agricultural products. In 2017, China ran a US$16.4 billion trade deficit with the US in agricultural products, accounting for 33% of China's total trade deficit in the agricultural sector; a US$12.75 billion trade deficit with the US in aircraft, accounting for 60% of China's total trade deficit in this sector; China also ran a US$11.7 billion deficit in automobile trade with the US. Therefore, the imbalance in trade in goods is a result of voluntary market choices where both countries have played to their industrial competitive strengths.

Third, it is a result of the international division of labor and the changing configuration of production locations by multinational companies. As the global value chain and international division of labor expand, multinational companies have come to establish factories in China to assemble and manufacture products and sell them to the US and the global market, thanks to China's low production costs, strength in auxiliary production, and reliable infrastructure. When it comes to players in foreign trade, according to China Customs, 59% of China's trade surplus with the US was contributed by foreign-invested enterprises in China in 2017. In the process of receiving international industrial relocation and joining the Asia-Pacific industrial network, China has, to a large extent, taken over the trade surpluses of Japan, the ROK and other East Asian economies with the US. According to US BEA, the shares of Japan, the ROK and other East Asian Economies in the total US trade deficit have declined from 53.3% in 1990 to 11% in 2017, while China's trade surplus with the US has risen from 9.4% to 46.3% in the same period. (Chart 5)

Chart 5: How the Regional Components of US Foreign Trade Deficit Changed (1990-2017)

Source: UN COMTRADE database, Bureau of Economic Analysis, USDOC.

Fourth, this is the consequence of US export control over high-tech products exported to China. The US boasts huge competitive strength in high-tech trade. Yet, haunted by the cold-war mentality, it imposes strict export controls on China, thereby limiting the potential of advantageous US exports, causing significant lost export opportunities, and widening its trade deficit with China. According to a report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in April 20172, if US export controls on China were relaxed to the level of those on Brazil, its deficit could be cut by 24%, and 35% if relaxed to the level of France. Evidently there remains a huge potential to be tapped in high-tech exports to China. If the US had not itself closed the door, it could well have seen its trade deficit reduced.

Fifth, this is the result of the US dollar being a major global currency. The Bretton Woods system established after WWII was based on the US dollar. On the one hand, the US uses its "exorbitant privilege"3 to levy seignorage on all countries. For the US the cost for printing a hundred-dollar bill is no more than a few cents, but other countries will have to provide real goods and services in exchange for that note. On the other hand, as a major global currency, the US dollar supports global trade settlements, and the US supplies US dollars to the world by way of a deficit. Therefore, beneath the US trade deficit lie profound US interests and the very root of the international currency system.

In addition, US statistics exaggerate its deficit in trade in goods with China. There has been a significant and long-standing statistical divergence between China and the US. In 2017, Chinese statistics recorded a Chinese surplus of US$275.8 billion, while US statistics showed it to be US$395.8 billion, a gap of about US$100 billion. The statistical working group comprising experts from the USDOC and MOFCOM compare every year the statistics from China and the US, and estimate that the US statistics overstate the trade deficit with China by 20% every year. According to statistics from China Customs and the USDOC, the dynamics of and gap between the two statistics have been largely the same over the past decade.(Chart 6) Causes for divergence include differences between CIF and FOB prices, transit trade value-added, direct trade markup, geographical jurisdiction, and shipping time delay.

Chart 6:Bilateral Goods Deficit: China and US Statistics (US$100 million)

Source: China Customs, Bureau of Economic Analysis, USDOC

If calculated by value added, the deficit would decrease significantly. China's foreign trade is characterized by large-scale imports and large-scale exports in processing, which applies to its trade with the US as well. According to MOFCOM, by trade methods, 61% of the China-US trade imbalance comes from processing. The value added in China accounts for only a small portion of the total value of many products, while the current approach is to calculate an export by aggregate (total value of goods exported). The WTO and the OECD started to advocate in 2011 a global perspective on production, and proposed to analyze the roles and benefits of all countries participating in the global distribution of labor by the approach of value-added accounting, for which the database WIOD was established. As an example, in 2016 conventional statistics show China's surplus with the US to be US$250.7 billion. Based on the WIOD database and using the value-added approach, this would become US$139.4 billion, a 44.4% decrease from the aggregate approach.

2. The discussion of fair trade should not be detached from the principle of mutual benefit of the WTO

In recent years, the US has turned away from "free trade" to advocating so-called "fair trade", to which it has added new meanings. Unlike previous administrations, the incumbent administration emphasizes a "fair trade" that is not based on international rules but "America first", or the protection of America's own interests. The core is so-called "reciprocal" opening, an idea of absolute equality, believing that all countries should apply identical tariff levels and provide identical market access in all sectors in their dealings with the US. In the eyes of the US government, the lack of reciprocity in market opening in other markets puts the US in an unfair position, and leads to bilateral trade imbalances. Such a concept of reciprocity is inconsistent with the reciprocal and mutually advantageous principle of the WTO.

The principle of reciprocity of the WTO takes into consideration different development stages by granting special and differential and more favorable treatment to developing members. This arrangement aims to attract new developing members, increase the WTO's representation and enhance the inclusiveness of the multilateral system, while respecting the right to develop of developing countries and regions. It enshrines the principle of mutual benefit in exchanging present favors for future opening. Developing members that are in the initial stage of development need appropriate protection for their industries to promote sound growth, which will provide more opportunities for developed countries in time. This differential and more favorable treatment is in the long-term interests of all countries and regions, including developed members, and this is genuine global fairness. In 2001, China joined the WTO as a developing member and has been treated as such. It still remains a developing country even after more than a decade of rapid economic development. China's large population of 1.39 billion dilutes massive economic figures to low levels on a per capita basis. According to IMF statistics, in 2017 the per capita GDP of China was US$8,643, only 14.5% of that of the US, and ranking 71st in the world. By the end of 2017 there were still 30.46 million rural people living in poverty. It is unfair to demand absolute equality in tariffs between China and the US simply on the grounds of China's economic aggregate and trade volume. The absolute equality approach also violates the MFN and non-discrimination principles of the WTO (Box 1).

Box 1 So-called Reciprocal Opening is not in Line with the Non-Discrimination Principle of the WTO

In the WTO, the reciprocal and mutually advantageous principle (including most-favored nation treatment and national treatment) and the non-discrimination principle are closely linked. The preambles of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and GATT 1994mention "reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations". At its heart is providing MFN treatment to all WTO members and not arbitrarily discriminating against other WTO members. But it is often prone to misunderstanding or abuse, incompatible with the MFN treatment on many occasions and prone to become an excuse for discriminatory treatment. On February 12th, 2018, the US announced for the first time that it was considering reciprocal tariffs on certain products coming into the US, the same as those imposed by the counterpart on the import of the same products from the US. By insisting on absolute equality in treatment regarding a certain product, this idea of reciprocity distorts the mutual benefit principle. The WTO-defined "reciprocal" and the so-called "reciprocal" of the US have different meanings. If reciprocal tariffs were to be implemented on a large scale, it would lead to different tariffs for different countries, deviating from the MFN treatment. And if reciprocal tariffs are imposed on a small number of countries with high tariff rates, it would be tantamount to the US withholding MFN treatment towards these countries.

The reciprocity and mutual benefit principle advocated by the WTO means overall reciprocity and balance of interests in market opening across all the industries of the members, rather than narrowly defined reciprocity of treatment for a specific industry or product. Given the differences in endowment and competitiveness, absolutely reciprocal opening would be virtually impossible, and tariffs in different industries diverge. Even if we follow this absolute reciprocity logic of the US, unfair and non-reciprocal practices are more than common in the US. For example, China's tariffs on peanuts in the shell, dairy products and trucks are 15%, 12% and 15-25% respectively, while WTO tariff figures show those of the US to be 163.8%, 16% and 25%, all higher than China. (Table 2)

Table 2:Some Tariffs in China and in the US






Dairy Products



Peanuts in the Shell



Shelled Peanuts



Peanut Butter



Knitted Shirts


16%, 17.5%

Source: China Customs Import and Export Tariff of 2017 and WTO tariff database

China, having fulfilled its WTO commitments, has voluntarily engaged in unilateral tariff reductions to expand market opening. By 2010, all commitments in goods had been fulfilled, with the overall tariff level decreased from 15.3% in 2001 to 9.8%. Yet China did not limit itself to WTO commitments; it has promoted trade and investment liberalization through FTAs, given special treatment in tariffs to LDCs, and significantly reduced import tariffs using provisional tariffs on several occasions. According to the WTO, China's weighted tariff in 2015 had fallen to 4.4%, significantly lower than that of emerging economies and developing countries such as the Republic of Korea, India and Indonesia, approaching that of the US (2.4%) and the EU (3%). China's tariffs on agricultural products are lower than the real tariffs of Japan, and lower than those of Australia for non-agricultural goods (Table 3). From the beginning of 2018, China further voluntarily cut the MFN rate on whole vehicles to 15%, and the MFN rate on auto parts from a maximum 25% to 6%. China has reduced import tariffs for 1,449 daily necessities, with the MFN rate down by an average of 55.9%from 15.7% to 6.9%. Currently, China's overall tariff rate has been reduced to 8%.

Table 3: Trade Weighted Average Tariff Rates of China and Other Countries (%)


Agro Products

Non-agro Products





The United States




The European Union












Republic of Korea












Source:WTO tariff database

The idea of "fair trade" and "reciprocal opening up" advocated by the US ignores the existence of objective differences among countries in terms of stage of development, resources, and competitive industries, and ignores developing countries' right to develop. It will create an impact on the economy and industries of the developing countries, result in broader inequality, and eventually prevent American businesses from expanding their international market share and sharing development opportunities in the developing countries.

Since its accession to the WTO, China has made important contribution to world economic development. Some people think China has taken advantage of its WTO membership while putting other countries at a disadvantage. In fact, after China joined the WTO, it has provided international capital and technologies with low-cost labor and land resources, generating immense production capacity that has promoted the development of global industrial chain and value chain, and world economic growth. In this process, FDI to China has kept on growing, surging from USD46.88 billion in 2001 to USD136.32 billion in 2017, at an annual growth of 6.9%. Multinationals have shared the immense opportunities in China's economic development. In the meantime, China has paid a high cost in environment and industrial restructuring as its economy grows rapidly.

3. China should not be accused of forced technology transfer as it is against the spirit of contract

Since the adoption of reform and opening up, foreign enterprises have established partnerships with Chinese companies by voluntarily entering into contracts. They transferred production capacity and orders to China of their own volition so as to tap into the emerging market, save production costs, achieve economy of scale, and extend the term of profiting from technologies. These are voluntary behaviors based on business interests. However, it accords with neither historical facts nor the spirit of contract to unjustly label bilateral transactions on a voluntary basis as forced technology transfer simply on the grounds of Chinese firms' technological advances.

Technology transfer in the course of cooperation between China and developed countries such as the US is voluntary technology transfer and industrial transfer initiated by the enterprises of developed countries keen to maximize their interests. The product life-cycle theory indicates that any kind of product goes through a life-cycle from peak to decline due to application of new technologies. While endeavoring to develop new technologies, multinationals continuously transfer technologies that are either obsolete or standardized to developing countries with a view to extending the term of profiting from old technologies, making room and sparing production factors for R&D and application of new ones, and indirectly sharing R&D costs. Therefore, technology transfer and licensing is a widely-used business cooperation model. Since the 1990s, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, P&G, GE, Lucent, and other American companies have set up R&D facilities in China in a bid to better adapt to and explore the Chinese market. Over the years, American firms in China have earned handsome profits through technology transfer and licensing. They are the largest beneficiary of technological cooperation.

In the process of cooperation, the Chinese government has never introduced policies or practices that force foreign invested enterprises to transfer technology. Technological cooperation and other forms of commercial cooperation between Chinese and foreign businesses are entirely voluntary and bound by contracts. It generates real benefits for companies on both sides. Generally speaking, there are three patterns of technology-related revenues earned by foreign enterprises: (1) one-off transfer through settlement by an agreed price or discounted equity participation; (2) technology-related income that is included in the sales of equipment, components or products; and (3) technology licensing fees. For example a foreign enterprise with a technological advantage sells equipment to a Chinese company short of certain technologies related to the equipment. The Chinese company has to buy technical services and components from the equipment supplier multiple times in the long run. The Chinese company is willing to purchase some of the technologies from the foreign company for a one-off payment. Such requirements for technology transfer are normal price negotiations based on cost-benefit accounting. Such technology fee payments, be they in installments or in a lump-sum, are common practices in international commercial technology trading. It is a complete distortion of the facts that the US administration labels as forced technology transfer the voluntary behaviors of FIEs to partner with Chinese companies, transfer or license technologies, and reap profits together in Chinese market by entering into business contracts.

Besides, equity cooperation in some areas is in line with China's international obligations and usual practices of many countries, and does not constitute forced technology transfer either. In recent years, China has eased restrictions on foreign equity (See Box 2), and given foreign businesses greater freedom of choice. In this process, equity cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises becomes deeper as a result of free choices based on commercial considerations by the two sides.

Box 2 China markedly relaxes market access for foreign investment

China revised the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industriesin 2015 and 2017. Restricted measures have been reduced by 65% to 63 items, and only 28 items are left under the prohibited category. On June 28, 2018, China for the first time published Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access (Negative List) 2018, reducing restrictions from 63 to 48, and introducing new opening up measures in 22 sectors.

China has notably expanded market access in areas of interest to FIEs. In manufacturing, foreign equity caps will be lifted for the shipbuilding industry, including design, production and repair, and the airplane industry, including trunk airliners, regional jets, utility aircraft, helicopters, drones and lighter-than-air aircraft. In the automobile industry, China will remove foreign equity caps on manufacturing of special-purpose vehicles and new energy vehicles, and phase out those on all automotive ventures over the next five years. In the financial sector, China has lifted foreign equity caps for banks, and raised the cap to 51% for securities, fund management companies, futures and life insurers. All the foreign equity caps in finance will be removed by 2021.

Market opening has attracted more foreign investment into China. On July 10, 2018, Shanghai Municipal government and Tesla signed a memorandum of cooperation which will allow Tesla to wholly own its first super factory built outside of the US, in Shanghai. Foreign financial institutions are also speeding up efforts to explore the Chinese market. Since 2017, 14 foreign institutions such as Fidelity, UBS Asset Management, Man Group, Fullerton, Blackrock, and Schroeder have registered as private securities investment fund managers in China. On June 29, 2018, the world's largest hedge fund manager, Bridgewater Associates LP, concluded its registration as a private fund manager in China and officially launched its private fund business in the market.

The WTO noted in the report of trade policy review on China that the country remains one of the top foreign investment recipients and its inward FDI has kept rising for many years.

That the US administration accuses China of "stealing" advanced technologies is an insult to China's efforts to push for scientific and technological advances. The Chinese nation is known for diligence, intelligence, and ingenuity. The Chinese government sets great store by the development of science, technology and education. The progress in science and technology China has made comes from years of implementing a strategy of invigorating the country through science, technology and education and the strategy of innovation-driven development, and from the hard work of the Chinese people, especially scientific workers. Since 2000, the total R&D spend in China has registered an average annual growth rate of close to 20%. In 2017, China spent RMB 1.76 trillion in R&D, second only to the US, accounting for 2.13%4 of total GDP, and approaching the average level of the OECD countries. China has 2,613 institutions of higher education, 10,900 research institutions of all sorts, and over 6.21 million people engaged in R&D. In 2017, the full-time equivalent of R&D personnel in China reached 4.03 million man-years, of which 77.3% were in enterprises.5 In the same year, China ranked third after the US and Japan with 113 Chinese enterprises listed among "The 2017 Global Innovation 1000".6 According to the "Global Innovation Index 2018" released by WIPO in July 2018, China's ranking rose from 22nd in 2016 to 17th in 20187. In 2017, patent applications reached 3.698 million in China, of which 1.836 million8 patents were granted. China's invention patent applications reached 1.382 million, up by 14.2% year-on-year, ranking 1stin the world for seven years in a row.9 According to WIPO statistics, China filed 49,000 international patent applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2017, second only to the US. Among the top 50 international patent applicants, ten are Chinese enterprises. As former US Treasury Secretary and renowned American economist Larry Summers once said, "You ask me where China's technological progress is coming from. It's coming from terrific entrepreneurs who are getting the benefit of huge government investment in basic science. It's coming from an educational system that's privileging excellence, concentrating on science and technology. That's where their leadership is coming from, not from taking a stake in some US company."10

4. China's huge efforts and achievements with regard to IPR protection should not be dismissed.

China's attitude towards IPR protection is clear and firm. It has continued to reinforce protection11 through legislation, law enforcement and the judiciary, and achieved some notable successes. Official reports by the US administration before 2016 also acknowledged China's achievements in IPR protection. The China Business Climate Survey Reports by the American Chamber of Commerce in China indicate that, among the main challenges facing its member enterprises in China, IPR infringement has dropped from the 7th biggest concern in 2011 to 12th in 2018. The recent accusations by the US administration about China's IPR protection are unrealistic and completely dismissive of China's tremendous efforts and achievements in this regard.

China has formulated and improved its laws and regulations on IP protection, and enhanced protection of IPR. China built a fully-fledged and high-standard IP legal framework in a relatively short period, compared to the decades or more that developed countries spent setting up similar legal systems. China has put in place a complete regime of IP protection, utilization and administration, spanning laws, planning, policies and enforcement agencies. Dr. Arpad Bogsch, former Director-General of the WIPO, has commented, "China had accomplished all this at a speed unmatched in the history of intellectual property protection." In 2013, China amended its Trademark Law,setting up a system of punitive damages under which the damages cap is raised from RMB 500,000 to RMB 3 million, thus remarkably enhancing protection. Since the fourth major amendment to Patent Lawlaunched in 2014, China has put forward measures for further strengthening protection of patents such as introducing harsher punishment for infringements, improving the rule of evidence, enhancing administrative protection, and better protecting patents in cyber space. In 2017, China amended the Anti-Unfair Competition Law,which further improves the protection of trade secrets, identifies act of confusion, expands the scope of protection for indications, and ratchets up legal liabilities for illegal acts. On October 1st, 2017, China adopted General Provisions of the Civil Law,which stipulates that "Civil entities enjoy intellectual property rights in accordance with law", and enhances protection of trade secrets by making them a subject of IP protection.

China has intensified judicial protection for intellectual property and given full play to judicial protection. In 2014, China set up three IP tribunals in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to handle cross-regional IP cases, including those related to patents. Since 2009, China has established 16 special judicial organs in Tianjin, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Xi'an and other cities, effectively enhancing the professional handling of IP cases. Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese courts received 813,564 new IP cases of all sorts, and handled and closed 781,257 cases. In 2017, Chinese courts received 213,480 first-instance cases, and concluded 202,970 cases, up by 46% and 43% from the previous year.12 More IP cases, especially patent cases, are tried in China than in any other country. China provides equal protection for the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese and foreign interested parties in accordance with law. In 2016, Chinese courts heard and closed 1,667 first-instance cases related to foreign entities and individuals, up by 25.6% year-on-year.13 (See Box 3) The adjudication period for foreign-related IP cases in China is among the shortest in the world. Beijing IP court processes cases in four months on average. Thanks to its rapid judicial procedure, China is increasingly being selected as the forum of choice for non-Chinese companies to litigate IP disputes, and a significant number of both the plaintiffs and defendants in Beijing IP court are foreigners.

Box 3 Chinese Courts Heard Foreign-related IP Cases in Accordance with Law

Chinese courts have held open hearings on the "Qiaodan" trademark administrative dispute cases, the Dior trademark dispute cases, and other new types of major and problematic cases in accordance with law. The Supreme People's Court invited WIPO officers, foreign diplomats in China and relevant parties to observe the hearings. All this shows Chinese courts' commitment to offering equal protection to Chinese and foreign right holders' legitimate rights and interests in an open and transparent way, reinforcing judicial protection of IPR, and upholding a market environment that encourages innovation and fair competition.

In 2013, the Shanghai Intermediate People's Court heard the trade secret misappropriation case lodged by Eli Lilly and Company and Lilly China against Huang Mengwei. The court issued an interlocutory injunction order requiring the defendant to stop infringement actions immediately. In its ruling, the court concluded that the defendant, whose behavior constituted trade secret misappropriation, should bear legal liabilities.

IP administrative authorities have taken protective measures and intensified enforcement in a proactive manner. China adopts a dual-track protection system where IP right holders can seek not only judicial but also administrative protection. The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has established a coordinated system with rapid review, rapid rights verification, and rapid rights protection, and built a nationwide 12330 network that provides assistance in defending rights and accepting reports and complaints. The patent, trademark and copyright authorities have carried out strong and proactive enforcement that has effectively defended the legitimate interests of IP right holders. In November 2011, the State Council published Opinions on Further Cracking Down on IP Infringement and Manufacture and Sales of Counterfeit and Shoddy Products, setting up a national leading group and signaling a normalized mechanism involving 29 governmental departments. In 2018, China reorganized SIPO by retooling the trademark and patent enforcement teams into a comprehensive enforcement team for market regulation, thus integrating and strengthening the power of enforcement.

This intensified IP protection has served as an effective guarantee for foreign businesses to innovate in China. Received foreign invention patent applications grew from 117,464 in 2012 to 135,885 in 2017.14 Foreign trademark registration applications grew from 95,000 in 2013 to 142,000 in 2017, and trademark extension applications grew from 14,000 to 20,000 in the same period.15 According to the Peterson Institute, China's protection of intellectual property is improving. China's payment of licensing fees and royalties for the use of foreign technology has recorded a four-fold increase over the last decade, reaching US$28.6 billion in 2017 and ranking fourth in the world. In fact, China ranks second globally in the scale of licensing fees paid for technology used within its national borders, second only to the US.16

US businesses have benefited hugely from effective IP protection in China. According to US Bureau of Economic Analysis of the DOC, China paid US$7.96 billion in licensing fees to the US in 2016. Statistics from China's National Copyright Administration, Ministry of Commerce, and State Administration for Market Regulation suggest that from 2012 to 2016, China imported 28,000 copyrights from the US. In terms of trademarks, from 2002 to 2016, the US applied for over 58,000 trademarks transfer in China, making up 4.54% of total transfers. In terms of culture, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and TV, in 2017 China imported 31 American films at a cost of US$650 million.

China's progress in IP protection has been recognized by the international community. In 2011, China Customs won the National Public Body Award of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Network. In 2012, the Economic Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security won the award for Distinguished Contributions to Anti-counterfeiting Enforcement. On 9 May 2011, former US president Obama stated that China had made good progress in IP protection. The US was willing to export more high-tech products to China and other countries in the interests of both sides.17In February 2018, GIPC released a report on the International Intellectual Property Index 2018, which maps the national IP environment for 50 surveyed economies with 40 indicators. China ranked 25th, up by 2 places from 2017.

5. The Chinese government's encouragement to Chinese business to go global should not be distorted as a government attempt to acquire advanced technologies through commercial M&A.

It is consistent with the WTO for the Chinese government to encourage businesses to go global and engage in international economic exchanges and cooperation. As Chinese companies get stronger and the need for resource allocation and market expansion increases, a growing number of firms have started to expand overseas at their own initiative, a trend in line with economic globalization. Like other countries and regions in the world, the Chinese government supports able and competent companies in outbound investment and tapping into international markets, while obeying the laws and regulations of the host countries as well as international rules. The government only provides services that facilitate this outbound investment and cooperation. The arbitrary conclusion of the US that such support is a government act to acquire advanced technologies through commercial M&A is groundless.

In fact, among Chinese investments in the US, those that seek to acquire technology represent a small share. According to the American Enterprise Institute, from 2005 to 2017, of 232 direct investments from China, only 17 involved high-technology, while others were mainly in real-estate, finance and services.18

6. China's subsidy policy complies with WTO rules and should not be attacked.

China conscientiously complies with WTO rules on subsidy policy. As one of the tools to address market failure and imbalanced economic development, subsidies are widely used by many countries and regions, including the US. Since China joined the WTO, we have actively pressed ahead with reform to ensure the compliance of domestic policies, and conscientiously honored the obligations under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

China complies with the WTO rules on subsidy transparency. As required, we have regularly notified the WTO of the revision, adjustment and implementation of our domestic laws, regulations and measures. By January 2018, China had submitted thousands of notifications, covering various areas of central and sub-national subsidy policies, agriculture, technical regulations, standards, and IP laws and regulations. In July 2016, in accordance with the relevant rules, the Chinese government notified the WTO of sub-national subsidy policies between 2001 and 2014, covering 100 subsidy policies from 19 provinces and 3 municipalities with independent planning authority. In July 2018 we notified the WTO of the central and sub-national subsidy policies between 2015 and 2016, covering all the provincial level administrative areas for the first time.

China has created a level playing field for the businesses. In recent years, the Chinese government has committed to transforming industrial policies. In June 2016 the State Council released Opinions on Establishing a Fair Competition Examination System in the Building of the Market System, setting out to guarantee rules-based government actions, prohibit new supportive measures that would exclude or impede competition, and filter out and abolish any existing rules and practices that hamper fair competition. In January 2017, the State Council released a Circular on Several Measures on Promoting Further Openness and Active Utilization of Foreign Investment, requiring authorities concerned to carry out a fair competition review in defining foreign investment policies. In June 2018, the State Council released a Circular on Certain Measures for Actively and Effectively Utilizing Foreign Investment to Promote Quality Economic Development, aiming to grant full pre-establishment national treatment on the basis of a negative list, and remove access restrictions on foreign investment in areas outside the list. As required by the Circular, to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, China has improved the inter-departmental joint meeting mechanism for FIEs to lodge complaints, set up and enhanced the complaint mechanism for FIEs across the country, in order to promptly resolve any unfair treatment of FIEs, and avoid restrictions on the law-based cross-regional operation, movement and deregistration of FIEs.

China's agricultural industry has become increasingly market-based. In 2015, the NDRC announced the abolition of controlled pricing on tobacco leaves, marking the definitive end to government pricing for agricultural produce. Since 2004, on the basis of market-set price and free circulation, the Chinese government had stepped in to ensure the basic livelihood of farmers by adopting a government purchase system, a backstop in the case of severe oversupply and collapsing prices. In recent years, the Chinese government has stepped up efforts to reform the purchase system by introducing a more market-based price-setting mechanism. (Box 4)

Box 4 Reform of China's Agricultural Support Policies

Based on the pilot reform between 2014 and 2016, in March 2017 the NDRC and the Ministry of Finance published the Notice on Deepening Reform of Cotton Target Price, adjusting the subsidy policy for Xinjiang cotton target prices and putting a cap on the volume of cotton that qualifies for target price subsidies. The target price-setting period was changed from once a year to once every three years, and thus the cotton subsidy has become a WTO blue box measure.

While China still keeps the minimum purchase price policy for rice and wheat, it has steadily lowered the minimum price in recent years. At the same time, the Chinese government has stepped up the reform of fiscal payment subsidies and stressed the orientation toward green ecology. In May 2015, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture published Guiding Opinions for Adjusting and Improving the Three Types of Agricultural Subsidies Policies. 80% of agricultural inputs, plus direct subsidy and improved varieties subsidy, are used for farmland protection. The remaining 20% of agricultural inputs plus large-scale farmers' direct subsidies and increments to the three subsidies are mainly used for establishing and improving the agricultural credit guarantee system.

1   Deutsche Bank, "Calculating the Economic Interests of the US and its Major Trading Partners", June 2018.

2   Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "Political Barriers in US Exports to China and US-China Trade Deficit", April 10, 2017.

3   Barry Eichengreen, 2011, Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System, Oxford University Press.

4   National Bureau of Statistics of China.

5  National Bureau of Statistics of China.

6   Strategy, PWC, The 2017 Global Innovation 1000, 2017.

7   Cornell University, INSEAD, WIPO, Global Innovation Index 2018, 2018.

8  National Bureau of Statistics of China, Statistical Communiqué for the People's Republic of China on the 2017 National Economic and Social Development, published on February 28, 2018.

9   The State Council Information Office of China, Press Conference on China's intellectual property rights development in 2017, April 24, 2018.

10   Larry Summers praises China's state investment in tech, saying it doesn't need to steal from US, CNBC, 27 June, 2018.

11   China and the World Trade Organization, June 2018, the State Council Information Office.

12   Data from the Supreme People's Court of the PRC.

13   Status of Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in China 2016, SIPO.

14   SIPO, Statistics Yearbook 2012, Patent Work and Comprehensive Management Statistics Monthly Report 2017, the figure for 2017 is invention patent applications.

15   Trademark Office of SAIC, China Trademark Branding Strategy Annual Development Report 2017.

16   Nicholas R. Lardy, China: Forced Technology Transfer and Theft? , Peterson InstituteforInternational Economics, April 20, 2018.

17   Official website of the Chinese government (http://www.gov.cn).

18   American Enterprise Institute (http://www.aei.org), Chinese investment in the US.