Long blamed for protectionist strategies that make it a tricky place for overseas companies to work, China is attempting to overturn that narrative in the middle of a heating trade war with the U.S., green-lighting heavy investments and picturing itself as a god of openness.
But critics dispute that in spite of its effort to claim the moral high ground as Donald Trump (the U.S. President) threatens to imply additional taxes on Chinese goods, Beijing’s latest decisions to make it simpler for foreign companies to set up processes also efficiently acknowledges that it has had inequitable market hurdles.
This week, China settled for a $10 Billion petrochemicals deal by Germany’s BASF that will be the first such factory in the country that is completely foreign-controlled, not an association.
It also sanctioned a heavy, new, wholly-controlled Shanghai plant for U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. In addition to this, it approved a $2.3 Billion joint venture OLED (organic light-emitting diode) plant to be constructed by LG Display of South Korea.
Answering to the Trump management’s newest plan to put 10% taxes on an additional $200 Billion worth of Chinese goods, Li Chenggang (Assistant Commerce Minister) claimed this week that China will not close itself to U.S. business.
“I need to stress that the attitude of Chinese Government to support business collaboration between the 2 nations will not modify. Its willpower to enhance the business environment and push forward reforms will not modify. And its stance of supporting multilateralism and opposing unilateralism will not modify,” Li claimed to the media in an interview this week.
On a related note, the U.S. President will later meet Theresa May as she makes an effort for a post-Brexit trade agreement just days after he claimed that the U.K. was in chaos. Trump, who arrives this afternoon in the U.K. for a 2-day operational visit, will also have some quality time with the Queen.