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China urges fact-checking after Renault apologizes

BEIJING -- China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped people checked facts before unjustly implicating the country, after Renault bosses apologized to three executives falsely accused of industrial espionage.

The case briefly caused tensions with China after a French government source said investigators were following up a possible link with China in the case before a formal inquiry was launched.

Renault and the French government subsequently played down talk of the link, and China angrily denied any involvement.

Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata on Monday promised to compensate the men and offer to reinstate them after firing them in January amid a spy probe that has now turned into a fraud investigation.

“I have noticed their clarification,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

“I hope that in the future, reporting related to China is carefully checked in a responsible manner,” she added, without elaborating.

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