Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Beijing eases investment curbs as clash with US looms

BEIJING: China is ending limits on foreign ownership in auto manufacturing, insurance and other fields but didn’t directly address complaints about trade and technology that are fueling conflict with Washington.

The change, announced late on Thursday, had been sought by Washington, Germany and other trading partners. They complain Beijing blocks access to its state-dominated economy while Chinese companies operate freely in their countries.

China’s announcement followed President Donald Trump’s threat, rescinded on Wednesday, to restrict Chinese investment in the United States. But it confirmed promises made as early as last November, before the latest dispute erupted.

Business groups said on Friday it was too early to know the impact until licensing and other rules are released.

Many changes “were previously articulated by China’s senior leaders,” said Jake Parker, vice president for China operations of the US-China Business Council, an industry group. “But they still represent in theory significant openings.”

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