The much-cheered phase-one trade deal touched on a thorny issue that has long been a major complaint by the U.S. government against China – the alleged coerced transfer of technology from its firms in exchange for access to the Chinese market.
However, the text addressing the issue of technology transfer within the deal is not too different to what China had already signed up to when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) back in 2001, according to experts.
“More additional details were laid out in the deal, which could make it more useful for actual implementation in the event of a technology transfer dispute,” said Zhu Huan, a researcher at Washington D.C.-based think tank Cato Institute, “But it is hard to tell what are new in terms of U.S. demands to China,” he said.
The specific part of text in the trade deal addressing the issue said both sides are forbidden to adopt administrative means, such as licensing requirements, to pressure technology transfer from the other side. Such wording is similar to wording in the agreement China signed to join WTO in 2001.
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