China hits back at US spying, trade accusations

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BEIJING, Nov 20 (Reuters) China has hit back at a US congressional panel report, calling its claims of trade manipulation and high-tech espionage by Beijing ''insulting'' and ''misleading''.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission's annual report issued last week said China presented an array of threats to Washington, including ''currency manipulation'', computer espionage, and murky military modernisation plans.

Late on Monday, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry curtly rejected the advisory panel's claims and warned that such talk could stymie cooperation.

Spokesman Liu Jianchao said the panel ''ignored'' China's advances and ''clinged to prejudices'', according to the ministry Web site (www.fmprc.gov.cn).

''It has engaged in an insulting attack on China, seeking to mislead opinion and the public and lay down obstacles to broad cooperation between China and the US,'' Liu said of the panel.

''We have already made stern representations to the US side and express our resolute disapproval''.

Liu did not respond to the Commission's specific claims, which dwelt on trade complaints, spying claims and other security concerns.

''Chinese espionage activities in the United States are so extensive that they comprise the single greatest risk to the security of American technologies,'' the report said.

China's military, growing and making technological gains at a pace that often surprised experts, also required greater scrutiny, said the report, based on hearings with experts and officials over the past year.

REUTERS DKS RN0550

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