Investment law: China promises fair competition

Postado Março 17, 2019

China, meanwhile, showed its consideration for the United States at the National People's Congress, with Premier Li Keqiang emphasizing in his speech on the first day that Beijing will proceed with its "reform and opening-up" policy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang cast their votes on the new foreign investment law at the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.

Li also made no mention of the "Made in China 2025" technology blueprint, under which China has been attempting to create global leaders in advanced technologies at the state's initiative - one of the causes that prompted the United States to wage a trade war.

The law bans government officials from forcing foreign firms to hand over technology to Chinese companies.

Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown reports from the Chinese capital.

The law was created and passed within 3 months, in what's being seen as a rare, swift response from China. Wang said that China "has never nationalized any foreign investment project" since it began opening up the Chinese economy to the world more than 40 years ago.

Shares on Chinese stock exchanges climbed after the government reaffirmed its commitment to boosting growth. He added that "the law offers a more broad-based retaliation". "All laws and regulations will continue to provide the Communist Party of China (CPC) with a great deal of room for maneuver to intervene, albeit not explicitly", she underlined.

"[The changes] do not address a number of the persistent concerns of foreign companies or foreign-invested enterprises in China", it said in its statement.

European and American business groups also appear not entirely satisfied with the law's provisions. The chamber noted that the clause gives China power to take "unilateral action against trading and investment partners based on a principle of perceived negative reciprocity". For example, the new law stipulates that foreign-invested enterprises shall participate in government procurement activities on a level playing field, and government procurement shall treat the products of foreign-invested enterprises produced in China equally.

There are also concerns that broad national security reviews could still leave foreign companies subject to overreaching regulators.

"It's a very important piece of legislation that people have been waiting for for a long time because it will change the working environment for foreign investors in China - and it will most likely have an impact on the way in which Chinese investors can work overseas", Hendrischke said. It comes as the country is expanding its military presence in the region.

The worldwide business community appears to have welcomed the new investment law and consider it a move in the right direction.

The new law clearly bodes well for foreign investors, especially in terms of market access and equal treatment, said Mario Ohoven, president of the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses.

Recently, some ruling party officials, scholars and journalists in Beijing have started to rap Xi's China-centered policies for complicating relations with the US administration of President Donald Trump and jeopardizing solid economic expansion.