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China: US claims on investment environment 'groundless'

By Zhou Xiaoyuan (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

16:27, September 23, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

The public criticism of China's "unwelcoming" business climate made by the U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke at a recent luncheon party hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China has attracted public attention.

Related experts said that China has firmly fulfilled its pledges since its accession into the World Trade Organization and has gradually opened up related areas to foreign investments. With an increasingly internationalized business environment, China has created sound conditions for enterprises from all countries around the world to share the achievements of the country's economic development.

China does well in fulfilling pledges made to WTO

Mei Xinyu, a senior researcher from the Research Institute under the Ministry of Commerce, said that Locke's criticism about China's restrictive business environment is groundless.

"In fact, China has done well in fulfilling its pledges made to the World Trade Organization," Mei said. Competition will surely intensify in the rapidly expanding Chinese market. Thus, it is not strange for Locke to pay particular attention to this area since he was formerly the U.S. commerce secretary. Following the expansion in China's economic scale and the increase in its regulation capability, China's openness to foreign investments will surely improve.

He Maochun, director of the Institute of International Studies under Tsinghua University, also said that the decade after China's accession to the World Trade Organization was a period of rapid growth for the Chinese economy. The average annual growth rate of China's import and export value over the past decade hit 22 percent, higher than the average annual growth rate of 15 percent prior to its accession. China also opened up 100 service trade sectors during the period.

China's annual export and import value was up by 490 percent and 470 percent during the period. China completely fulfilled its pledges to WTO as of the end of 2010 by offering unilateral tariff exemption to the 43 most underdeveloped countries and eliminating the tariffs on 95 percent of imported products.

United States adopts double standards on measuring reforms

In fact, as a nominal firm supporter of the Manchesterism, Gary Locke knows the true trade situation between China and the United States more clearly than any other does. During his term as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the trade frictions between China and the Untied States increased greatly. In 2009, the Untied States carried out more than 10 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against China. In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation once again on the steel wheel hubs made in China.

Mei said that one had better reflect on oneself before censuring others. First, Is the Untied States relying on the super-national treatment excessively? The United States should not always take super-national treatment for granted. Second, the United States' attitude of always laying the blame on others and rarely reflecting on itself will do nothing but make it backward.

While continuing to berate China to open more markets, the Untied States is also setting obstacles for investments from China and implementing discriminatory policies. The Untied States has rejected investments from China many times because of the state-owned background of the Chinese enterprises.

At the end of 2010, China's foreign direct investment in the Untied States was more than 4 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for only 1.5 percent of China's total foreign direct investment at that time. The number completely did not match with the United States' status as the largest economy in the world.

Mei said that as an independent sovereign state, China has the right to conduct inspection in necessary areas. Moreover, China has placed too much emphasis on the export-oriented development strategy over the past 10 years and granted foreign businesses too many long-term trade concessions, which has caused a serious imbalance between domestic demand and exports.

The extensive economic growth pattern over the past years has brought many problems, such as slow industrial upgrading, over-consumption of resources and growing environmental pressure. This is partly why China is now paying greater attention to the protection of the environment and natural resources while attracting foreign capital.

Opening-up does not conflict with strict inspection requirements

The U.S. economy is sliding into recession as the European and U.S. debt crises steadily deteriorate. He Chunmao predicted more trade frictions between China and the United States will emerge and said that the United States will implement more protectionist measures to protect its interests and at the same time ask China to offer a helping hand by granting it a wider Chinese market access in order to increase its employment and promote its economic recovery.

China has been constantly improving its business environment in the process of deepening the reform and opening-up. A favorable investment environment for both domestic and foreign enterprises is a precondition for the sustainable development of China's economy.


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retired SEC offical at 2011-09-24199.94.8.*
Never trust any Americans, they are all professional thieves, especially folks from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Tim Geithner.

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