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China Daily Website

Locke urges continuity in Sino-US relations

Updated: 2012-12-20 10:11
By Chen Weihua in Washington ( China Daily)

Despite US President Barack Obama's administration bringing a record number of WTO cases against China, Locke said this does not mean the US won't cooperate with China.

"We have had trade disputes with Canada and France," he added, emphasizing that Americans should welcome Chinese businesses that want to invest in the US, much as Japan and South Korea have done as their economies industrialized.

He noted that anti-Chinese statements made in recent months by members of Congress do not reflect the views of the Obama administration - but he did not say whether he was referring to the House Intelligence Committee report two months ago, which described Chinese telecom companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp as posing national security concerns to the US.

Locke said that only around a hundred of the thousands of foreign direct investments made in the US each year are reviewed for national security reasons, and that only six or seven of those had involved Chinese firms.

"The vast majority of these investments are not problematic, and they are very much welcomed," he said.

He praised Chinese investments, in particular by Tianjin Pipe Co in Texas and Wanxiang Group Corp in the Detroit area, for creating thousands of jobs.

Orville Schell, the Arthus Ross director of the Center on US-China Relations at the society, based in New York, later said the US government is not treating Chinese companies in an unfair and discriminatory way, but that some American congressional figures are prejudiced.

"They do create a political problem which makes it very difficult for Chinese firms to either feel welcome or continue to invest in America," he said.

"It's fully in US interests not just to welcome Chinese investment, but to court and encourage Chinese investment in the US," said Schell, whose team has produced special reports on the benefits of Chinese investment in the US, in particular in the state of California.

Schell said he believes the Obama administration would rather solve trade issues through the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

But he also said the Chinese government should not view trade disputes as anti-China gestures.


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