WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States should remove barriers to Chinese investment for national security reasons, said Zhang Xiangchen, a deputy trade minister at the Ministry of Commerce.
“That’s what we call a swing door; these doors are invisible but they are there when Chinese companies want to operate in the United States,” Zhang told reporters on Tuesday after meetings with U.S. officials at annual talks on security and economic policy.
He said infrastructure and state-owned companies in particular may face obstacles in the United States, though he acknowledged China had further to go than America in improving its investment climate.
Zhang said the world’s two largest economies are committed to further improve market access to each others’ investors as part of talks on a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), though both economies have further to go.
He also said during the latest round of talks, the United States has not welcomed China joining an Asia trade pact in the future.
Washington is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 other countries this year, and has said in the past that China could join later if it commits to high standards.
“We hope the TPP negotiations will be concluded as quickly as possible so that the United States can pay more attention to BIT negotiations with China,” he said, when asked about the TPP. “Because for any country, the number of negotiators is limited.”
Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Bernard Orr