UPDATE 3-U.S. presses China to stop growing trade secret theft

Thu May 2, 2013 5:36am EDT
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* U.S. report says theft of secrets occur inside and outside China

* Urges China to investigate instances

* China rejects allegations of trade secret theft

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Trade Representative's office criticized China on Wednesday for failing to stop the growing theft of American trade secrets that are the lifeblood of U.S economic might, in the latest sign of Washington's frustration.

"Not only are repeated thefts occurring inside China, but also outside of China for the benefit of Chinese entities," USTR said in its annual report on countries with the worst records of protecting U.S. intellectual property rights.

"The United States strongly urges the Chinese Government take serious steps to put an end to these activities and to deter further activity by rigorously investigating and prosecuting thefts of trade secrets by both cyber and conventional means," the report said.

On Thursday, China's Foreign Ministry restated its earlier dismissals of allegations that it was engaged in such theft and of cyber attacks.

"This is an old question, not a new one," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing in Beijing.   Continued...