US, allies should match China’s opening-up moves

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/29 21:08:01

China is moving quickly to push forward a draft law amendment that aims to further open its economy to foreign investment. 

The draft comes as the US and some of its allies restrict market access for Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Therefore, many people speculate about whether China will backpedal on its commitment to fully open the Chinese market to foreign companies as its own companies face scrutiny in the West. China is at a critical crossroads, as its economy faces increasing trade conflicts and protectionism. 

It would be easy for China to use an upsurge of nationalism to cope with the US and close its doors to foreign companies, but would it be good for the Chinese economy?

Probably not. Although the external economic situation is complex and uncertain, China is sparing no effort to achieve win-win cooperation.

The draft law supports the concepts of pre-establishment national treatment and negative list management, which will encourage fair competition between foreign and domestic businesses. 

If the law is adopted, China will enter a new era in opening its economy to foreign investment.

The measures need to be implemented gradually and patiently. Some provisions in the draft are broadly worded, so detailed regulations will be needed separately. China will probably announce targeted policies soon after the draft wins approval - a step that will provide a detailed road map for future reforms.

China is in the late stages of reform. The country has achieved a high level of openness to the outside world in traditional industrial fields. In the next round, the reforms will focus more on strategic emerging sectors such as information, finance and high technology. 

S&P Global Ratings announced Monday that it had been permitted to establish and operate a credit ratings agency in China's domestic bond market. The approval marks the first time that a company wholly owned by an international ratings agency has been able to rate Chinese domestic bonds. This reform will bring great changes in China's bond market.

Beijing has shown its determination to pursue reforms that will further open up the economy, despite the tough challenges that lie ahead. The US and its allies need to offer the same sincerity to China in return and open their domestic markets, especially in the 5G industry.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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