Sino-US tensions show no sign of easing (2)

08:20, March 26, 2010      

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Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday at a regular press briefing that the visits aimed to "clarify China's positions and policies and listen to opinions from all quarters in the US" to seek a solution to the current problems.

Shi Yinhong, an expert on American studies at the Renmin University of China, said the latest developments are not a clear signal of mending ties.

"Washington should take positive steps (to show its sincerity). For instance, whether it will go ahead with the move to label China a currency manipulator in April is crucial in defining bilateral relations."

Huo Jianguo, dean of the Trade Research Institute affiliated to the Ministry of Commerce, urged Washington to tread cautiously. "The US government should be sober-minded on the issue of labeling China a currency manipulator. It should not be carried away by domestic political pressure," he said.

This year, the two countries have had spats over issues related to Taiwan, trade and human rights. Adding to the tensions was Google's decision on Tuesday to exit the Chinese mainland market.

Two other US companies appeared to have joined Google on Wednesday.

The two Internet services providers said they would halt registration of Chinese domain names because the Chinese government has begun demanding pictures and other identification documents from their customers.

Shi said the exits are individual decisions.

"Maybe some are for political reasons while some are just for business purposes," he said. He added that as long as China's economic and investment conditions remain good, foreign firms would stay.

Derek Scissors, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told China Daily that one or two Internet companies following Google's departure could not change the whole business environment.

"In determining whether this is an issue of Internet restrictions or a broader issue, it is much more important whether different kinds of American companies - in agriculture, banking, entertainment, and so on - are also reconsidering their China business.

"Thus far, that does not seem to be the case," he said.

Source: China Daily
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