FIRST AIRED: December 21, 2018

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00:00:00
>> Beijing came out fighting on Friday against fresh accusations of espionage. US prosecutors have indicted two Chinese nationals who they claim hacked into businesses worldwide, and American government agencies including NASA and the US Navy. China's Foreign Ministry chalking the charges up as, quote, slanderous smears and erroneous actions.
00:00:23
The worry now is whether they'll heighten tensions between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at a time when the two leaders are trying to play nice on trade.>> Well, the relationship is very special.>> Reuters senior Beijing correspondent has the latest.>> Both countries really seem to have been keen to put a message out that they are continuing to make efforts to resolve their trade dispute.
00:00:46
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, they expect a new round of talks to happen in January, so next month. We haven't heard anything today from China to suggest that they are rethinking that. Certainly from the Chinese government's perspective, they are very keen to sort out this trade dispute with the United States.
00:01:07
>> Zhu Hua and Zhang Jianguo are the pair in question, and while the US president has tried to distance himself from recent blows to US China relations, US prosecutors say the Chinese operation targeted intellectual property and corporate secrets to give companies back home an unfair advantage. US allies came to its defense with Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, all slamming Beijing for what they are calling a global campaign of intellectual property theft.
00:01:35
>> In China's eyes this is simply America leading its allies to gang up against Beijing. Beijing frequently says this kind of behavior represents cold war thinking, zero-sum mentality, and it is certainly not the kind of thing that Washington and its allies should be doing if they're trying to build up trust with Beijing.
00:01:54
>> Chinese state media adding on Friday that Beijing will have to be prepared to stand its ground and respond as necessary.