China’s penalties on Mintz Group in accordance with laws, regulations
Published: Aug 22, 2023 11:13 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Several Western media outlets in recent days have published articles focusing on China's penalties on US research firm Mintz Group, trying to create the illusion that China's legitimate investigation into Mintz and the resulting penalties are a "crackdown on information-gathering that has rattled foreign investors." 

This is nonsense. China won't be disturbed by hype about a "crackdown," and instead it will remain resolved to ensure economic security in accordance with laws and regulations.

Based on regulations on statistics, Mintz Group will be fined 10.7 million yuan ($1.5 million), the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics said in a notice published on its website on July 14. Oddly, the notice was released more than a month ago, but it was suddenly reported by Western media outlets in recent days. 

Their purpose is simply to launch another round of the US smear campaign against the Chinese economy and hype the so-called crackdown on foreign enterprises by the Chinese government. 

Chinese officials have repeatedly stressed that foreign investment is welcome in China and the door to China will only open further. For instance, China's State Council, the cabinet, on August 13 issued a 24-point guideline to optimize the business environment for foreign investors. 

The sweeping guideline underscores China's unwavering commitment to high-level opening-up and attracting more foreign businesses to develop in the vast Chinese market. However, the more actively China is committed to attracting foreign investment, the crazier some forces in the US-led West become to undermine China as part of its efforts to contain China's economic rise. Western media outlets have contributed a lot to the campaign, but we hope they won't distort the facts and brazenly smear the Chinese side, using "crackdown" hype.

The US has become hysterical and unscrupulous in its campaign to contain China's economic rise, even as some of its radical measures are facing increasing resistance from US companies due to massive losses. Amid the US-initiated trade war, tech war and economic containment of China, we need to take countermeasures to protect our legitimate interests from being violated. 

The necessity and urgency of ensuring China's economic security are increasing. Foreign companies doing business in China must comply with Chinese laws and regulations, which is a very basic requirement.

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics said on its website that Mintz Group illegally engaged in foreign-related statistical investigation activities without obtaining approval. It can be seen that China's penalties on Mintz Group are in accordance with laws and regulations.

Also in response to a media question regarding Mintz Group on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin stressed at a press conference that China is a country under the rule of law. Businesses operating in China need to abide by Chinese laws. Judicial authorities investigate suspected offenses in accordance with the law. 

China remains firmly committed to advancing high-level opening up and fostering a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment for companies from other countries, including from the US, Wang said. 

In May, Reuters reported that Randal Phillips, then Mintz's Asia chief and a former senior CIA official, co-authored an article carried on the firm's website last year on "Sanctions Due Diligence" under the so-called US Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, specific to China's Xinjiang, which has since been removed. 

There is little evidence to suggest this is related to Mintz's investigation, but relevant news reports have sparked public discussion about whether there is a role played by Mintz in the US crackdown on China's Xinjiang.

US politicians have fabricated outrageous lies including those surrounding "forced labor." The intention behind this is to curb Xinjiang's economic development, create economic chaos, and engender forced unemployment and forced poverty in the region. This is only part of the extensive US efforts to contain China's rise. China must defend itself against US economic attacks. 

The world should understand China's legitimate economic security concerns and its right to self-defense. To operate a business in China, enterprises with foreign capital must abide by Chinese laws and regulations, and they must not engage in any activities detrimental to China's national interests.

In the face of economic containment and suppression by the US, it is particularly important to enhance China's economic security. In the process, China's self-defense behavior to ensure national security will comply with laws and regulations, which means it is not contradictory to our efforts to attract foreign investment and provide a good business environment for foreign investment.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.