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China using coercive business practices for economic advantage: US

The diplomatic relations between China and US have been downgraded since the Chinese spy balloon incident

July 16, 2023



Chinese Communist Party is using coercive economic practices to achieve worldwide dominance over America, US lawmakers accused, Voice of America (VOA) reported.


The accusations came at a hearing of the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party days after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Chinese officials in Beijing to discuss the nations' economic relationship.


The diplomatic relations between China and US have been downgraded since the Chinese spy balloon incident.

The witnesses told the House panel that the US companies in China are facing threats in operating.


"There's no such thing as a private company in China, a raft of legislation like the updated counterespionage law, the data security law, the anti-foreign sanctions law has codified what was always true. China reserves the right to swipe any data, to seize any assets and take IP that it wishes," committee Chairman Mike Gallagher said.


According to committee members, China's restrictive environment is resulting in a so-called "brain-drain" of its own business people, turning China into the top country in the world for the departure of wealthy individuals, fleeing what they fear is the Communist Party's ability to arbitrarily seize assets.


Witnesses testified the environment in China is becoming increasingly restrictive for American companies and individuals.Meanwhile, Yellen said that the decoupling of the world's two largest economies would be disastrous for the interests of both countries and destabilize the world, and it would be virtually impossible to undertake.


"We want a dynamic and healthy global economy that is open, free, and fair," she added.


European companies have also complained about a worsening climate for business. In June, a survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China reported a record-high 64 per cent of surveyed China-based European companies reported that doing business in China became more difficult in 2022, reported VOA.


"The crackdown on consulting businesses, the enhanced data, secrecy laws and the flow of PRC information just highlight the negative symmetry that we have with China. This means that even companies now can't even do due diligence in advance of any sort of business transaction," Lounsbury, said.


The Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry pushed back against criticism of its business practices Monday in response to a U.S. State Department travel advisory issued this month warning American citizens of the "risk of wrongful detention.""China is a country committed to the rule of law. The decisions to conduct security reviews over foreign companies by competent Chinese departments are made in accordance with the laws and the facts. China welcomes the people and businesses of all countries to come to China and do business here, and we are committed to protecting their safety and lawful rights and interests in China in accordance with the law, including their freedom of entry and exit," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said on July 10.


"Speaking of entry and exit review and wrongful detentions, in recent years, the US has put up hurdles and even harassed and interrogated under various excuses Chinese nationals entering the US. From time to time, Chinese students bound for the US have been refused entry and sent back. In 2021, the US refused to issue visas for at least 2,000 Chinese students majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics," she added.


She further stated that from January to October 2022, the number of visas issued for Chinese students bound for the US dropped by 38 per cent year-on-year. Recently, the US has smeared China's efforts to repatriate corrupt fugitives and recover criminals' illegal proceeds, and even prosecuted and detained Chinese nationals and people of Chinese descent in the US. The US has scapegoated China on fentanyl-related issues, resorting to "sting operations" and extra-territorial abduction against Chinese nationals, and prosecution against Chinese entities and individuals.


China urged the US to stop its "wrongdoing" at once, stop disrupting practical cooperation between the two countries, stop "arbitrary detentions and abuse of process against Chinese businesses and individuals", and earnestly protect the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese businesses and nationals in the US, Mao Ning said.


Witnesses told the committee that American businesses face a restrictive environment led from the top down by President Xi Jinping, potential intellectual property theft and the constant threat of seized assets, as per VOA.




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