Chinese automaker FAW Group starts a plant in Coega of South Africa. (Photo by Zhang Jiexian from People’s Daily Online)
Chinese automaker FAW Group starts a plant in Coega of South Africa. (Photo by Zhang Jiexian from People’s Daily Online)

Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump blocked Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom’s proposed acquisition of its U.S. peer Qualcomm under the pretext of protecting national security.

Though China has nothing to do with the deal, the country has again been used as an excuse to scuttle the merger. Advising Trump to block the deal, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), an inter-agency tasked with reviewing foreign investments in the country, said if the deal was approved, China’s telecommunication firms could displace Qualcomm as the leaders in developing the upcoming 5G standard mobile network.

It is yet another instance of the U.S. government issuing such a far-fetched warning against Chinese businesses. In January, CFIUS disapproved a deal between Ant Financial, an affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, and MoneyGram International “for potential national security threats.”

Washington is not alone in using such protectionist measures to scrutinize or kill foreign investment attempts, particularly those from China, based on groundless suspicions and a Cold War zero-sum mentality. Some European countries have also rejected Chinese investments from time to time over similar arguments.

The alarming anti-China trends in the West reflect the fact that as more Chinese enterprises begin to expand overseas, some in the Western world are neither ready nor at ease.
Those who harbor concerns over China’s flourishing global investment view its rise as a “you-win-I-lose” situation, fearing their technological and industrial edges would be lost if Chinese companies invest in their countries.

However, the truth is that Chinese investments overseas have always stressed win-win cooperation, and have brought tangible benefits to business partners and local populations.

Chinese automaker Geely’s takeover of Swedish Volvo Cars is a stellar example. In 2017, Volvo reported a 27.7-percent increase in operating profit, earning a record 1.8 billion U.S. dollars. The company, which was struggling when Geely took over eight years ago, is now thriving.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has now become a major platform on which Chinese firms and global partners can share the benefits that China’s development can offer.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, under BRI, Chinese enterprises have invested more than 60 billion dollars. They have helped build 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries, generating over 2.21 billion dollars of taxes and creating 209,000 local jobs.

As China seeks to restructure its economy and focuses increasingly on a quality-oriented and consumption-driven growth model, countries worldwide can expect more business opportunities.
Also, Beijing is stepping up efforts to encourage foreign investments. In the government work report delivered at the ongoing annual session of China’s top legislative body, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said overseas investors will be granted tax deferral for the reinvestment of profit made in China. Also, the procedures for setting up foreign-invested enterprises in China will be simplified.

In the face of the Chinese investment boom, policymakers in the West should be open-minded. Because in an age of increasing global economic interconnectedness, a shutting-the-door approach would always cause more harm than good to the economic interests of all parties concerned.

by Xinhua writer Liang Junqian

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