China rejects US hacking claims before Trump-Xi meeting

FILE - In this Thursday, July 12, 2018, file photo, the container ship Maersk Emerald is unloaded at the Port of Oakland, Calif. A U.S. government report ahead of a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping accuses China of stepping up hacking aimed at stealing American technology as a tariff dispute escalated. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

BEIJING — China's government has rejected a U.S. report that accuses Beijing of stepping up efforts to steal technology ahead of a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

The Commerce Ministry on Thursday accused Washington of destroying trade relations and rejected the U.S. Trade Representative's report as "groundless accusations."

Both sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods in a fight over U.S. complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

The USTR report said computer hacking attacks traced to China and aimed at stealing American technology have increased this year.

Trump and Xi are due to meet this month in Buenos Aires during a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies.

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