BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday it would carefully monitor U.S. policies on inbound investments, stressing that the country opposes using national security as grounds to restrict foreign investments.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will use a strengthened national security review process to thwart Chinese acquisitions of sensitive American technologies, a softer approach than imposing China-specific investment restrictions.
The U.S. Treasury Department has recommended that Trump use the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), whose authority would be enhanced by new legislation in Congress, to control investment deals. The legislation expands the scope of transactions reviewed by the interagency panel to address security concerns, Trump said.
“China will closely monitor the legislation process and evaluate its potential impact on Chinese companies,” Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in a regular briefing in Beijing.
“China does not agree with (the U.S.) tightening foreign investment conditions using national security as reasons,” he said.
The proposed investment restrictions are part of the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Beijing into making major changes to its trade, technology transfer and industrial subsidy policies after U.S. complaints that China has unfairly acquired American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, unfair licensing and strategic acquisitions of U.S. tech firms.
Commerce ministry’s Gao also said cooperation between China and Europe would bring a “warm current” to the global economy as both parties strongly opposes unilateralism and protectionism.
On Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a joint news conference with French prime minister Edouard Philippe that he believed frictions and disputes between China and the United States could be resolved via talks.
“There are no winners from Fighting a trade war,” he told reporters.
(Reporting by Elias Glenn and Ben Blanchard; Writing by Yawen Chen; Editing by Michael Perry & Shri Navaratnam)