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Commentary: GSK case does not mean change in China's foreign investment policy

By Lu Rui (Xinhua)

19:12, July 18, 2013

BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Several senior executives from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have recently been investigated for suspected bribery and tax-related violations in China.

In an article that appeared on The Guardian newspaper's website, the GSK case is associated with China's probe into several foreign milk powder giants earlier this month. The British newspaper then asserted that China has targeted foreign firms for the benefit of domestic brands.

The claims are groundless as it is common sense that all enterprises operating in a foreign country shall comply with local laws and regulations.

China, since the beginning of its opening-up policy, has welcomed foreign investment and introduced a string of favorable policies accordingly.

The strategy of attracting foreign investment has never changed and will not change. But it does not mean that foreign firms shall be allowed to violate market rules and regulations.

The Chinese government is firmly opposed to commercial bribery in all forms. Any malpractice by any enterprise -- Chinese, foreign or jointly funded -- shall be punished.

China's probe into the case shows Beijing's resolve to improve business climate and create a level playing field in the Chinese market. It is by no means an attempt to sacrifice international firms to give domestic companies unfair advantages.

A level playing field is in the interests of all market players, including foreign firms like GSK.

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