US firms welcome despite trade tensions: FM spokesperson

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/12 20:58:40

The ExxonMobil stand shows at the International Petroleum Technology Conference held in Beijing in 2013. File photo: VCG

China will firmly promote a new round of reform and opening-up, the next step of which is only set to be faster, said a Chinese official on Wednesday, expressing a welcome attitude toward foreign investment including from US firms despite the prolonged trade war.

"Faced with the US' unilateral protectionism, we definitely need to take necessary counterattack measures to protect our legal interests. Meanwhile, we are taking effective measures to help both domestic and foreign companies in China overcome difficulties," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang told a regular briefing on Wednesday.

"We'll further widen market access and provide more convenience to foreign firms operating in China," Geng said, adding that China welcomes foreign investment including from the US.

The comment came after a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday that claimed that some American companies could see license approvals delayed or tighter regulatory scrutiny by officials given the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US.

In the first half of this year, nearly 30,000 foreign firms were newly established in China, up 96.6 percent year-on-year, Geng said, citing the latest data. "Foreign firms are now expanding their investment, output and scale in the country."

On September 5, US oil giant ExxonMobil Corp said that it was planning to invest $10 billion in a chemical project in South China's Guangdong Province.

Apart from energy cooperation, US companies in other sectors are also mounting efforts to invest in the Chinese market. For example, high-end US electric vehicle maker Tesla lifted its registered capital to 4.7 billion yuan ($682 million) from 100 million yuan on Friday for its unit in Shanghai, up nearly 46-fold.


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