China's new law formally bans "forced" technology transfers and other illegal interference by government officials in the operations of foreign-invested enterprises. Beijing hopes the new law will smooth over trade talks with Washington.
The report came just hours before vice premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were due to begin two days of possibly make-or-break talks to avert an escalation in the two countries’ trade war. If the negotiations do not go well, the two sides will struggle to reach an agreement by a March 1 deadline, after which President Donald Trump has said he will more than double the punitive tariff rate currently assessed on about half of all Chinese exports to the US. The talks have also been complicated by the US government’s revelation on Monday of criminal charges against Huawei and its former chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, which has enraged Chinese officials.