By Wang Ke, Qi Zhiming and Wu Qiuyu –The US accusation that China has put restrictions on US investment in China pursuant to Section 301 Investigation is false claim, according to experts from home and abroad.
They explained that in recent years, China has expanded openness, and created a business environment of more stability, transparency and predictability for foreign enterprises.
“China treats domestic and foreign enterprises equally,” said Gao Feng，spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce.
Be it Foreign Investment Law which is still in the drawing or other regulatory documents on foreign investment, the ultimate goal is to defend the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, push opening up through legislation, and create a stable, transparent, and predictable legal environment for foreign businesses in China, Gao elaborated.
The organizational structure and operational activities of domestic and foreign companies are equally subject to relevant laws and regulations, such as Company Law and Partnership Enterprise Law, the spokesperson explained, adding that foreign and domestic businesses are treated alike in China.
Zhang Monan, a researcher with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said the Chinese government has taken the number of free trade zones (FTZs) up to 11.
The country has opened the market to a broader scope through institutional innovation, said Zhang, adding that in the future, it will vigorously promote opening-up of the financial, education and medical service sectors in an orderly manner based on its preset plan.
Meanwhile, China has been acting more in pushing forward the construction of an open economy by improving its fiscal taxation and financial policies to expand imports, creating better conditions for trade facilitation, comprehensively granting pre-establishment national treatment to foreign companies and implementing the negative list management system, Zhang said.
A guidance catalogue for foreign investment in China jointly revised by the Ministry of Commerce and other departments in 2017 launched a negative list across the country and called for wider openness in service, manufacturing and mining industries.
Last year, the country released a new foreign investment negative list for free trade zones, cutting ten categories and 27 special administrative measures from the 2015 version, in an effort to further optimize investment access.
According to the 2018 Business Climate Survey Report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, more than half of the surveyed US enterprises are optimistic about the investment prospect in China, and 75 percent reported a profitable year in 2017, the highest proportion over the last three years.
One third of the US companies surveyed recognized China’s improving environment for investment and about 60 percent considered China as one of the top three investment destinations.
China is also elevating the level of opening-up of the financial sector. In December 2017, the China Banking Regulatory Commission decided to revise rules on administrative licensing for foreign banks, to push forward reform of the administrative approval system and further open up the financial sector.
All the measures included in the national strategy of Made in China 2025 apply to both domestic and foreign enterprises, and all companies will be given equal treatment.
It is untrue that foreign investment is restricted in China, since as a matter of fact, a lot of foreign enterprises have found new development opportunities in China by participating in the country’s high-end, green and intelligent manufacturing projects, experts pointed out.