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.
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.