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Trump's Possible China Trade Crackdown: 'This is Not Time to Sour Relations'

© AP Photo / Alex BrandonPresident Donald Trump gestures as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla
President Donald Trump gestures as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla - Sputnik International
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The US president is considering an investigation into China's alleged intellectual property theft. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Hong Kong-based investment and banking specialist Andrew Leung.

According to Leung, the main reason behind the US-Chinese dispute is the fact that China wants access to technologies, made by the companies Beijing has invested into.

"The accusation is that the Chinese state makes it a mandatory requirement to share technology with the invested technology firms from foreign countries. Of course if we share them, that means that intellectual property rights are transferred to Chinese competitors. And indeed that can be held to be a violation of WTO [World Trade Organization] rules," Leung said.

US President Donald Trump may announce a probe into China's alleged intellectual property theft on Monday after repeatedly accusing Beijing of "unfair" trade practices, Politico reported.

A government official confirmed to Politico that Trump was going to instruct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open the investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 US Trade Act.

South Korean men pass by a TV news program showing images published in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea's ballistic missile believed to have been launched from underwater and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
Why China's Influence on North Korea Amid Escalation With US 'Overestimated'
"I guess there was a time when the relations [between China and the US] were good in the beginning. But then Washington was perceiving that China was not doing their part in pressurizing North Korea," the expert noted.

Recently, US President Donald Trump stepped up criticism of China amid Pyongyang's numerous ballistic missile launches. Trump said last month that he was "very disappointed in China" over its failure to put pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile tests.

"I think that the biggest worry for President Trump is this North Korean thing," Leung stated. The current situation shows that it is "not the time to sour relations" between the two countries, the expert added.

At the same time, Leung believes that a trade war between the two countries is unlikely, as it would negatively affect both economies.

According to Politico, trade sanctions on China were not expected immediately after the investigation announcement, but could lead to a hike in tariffs on Chinese goods, a move that is likely to breach the World Trade Organization's rules.

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