China's senior bankers have urged the US government to create a sound environment for Chinese investors to deepen economic ties.
Government officials and senior banking executives were attending a Sino-US symposium on building new financial system in Tianjin at the weekend.
Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Construction Bank Corporation, described the imbalance of mutual foreign direct investment (FDI) as a major economic challenge faced by the two countries, whose ties increasingly affect the global economy.
To forge a "mature" economic relationship, the US needs to re-evaluate trade disputes, Guo and other bankers including Wu Xiaoling, vice-governor of the People's Bank of China, said.
"US investors can enjoy better treatment than citizens in China, but in the US, Chinese investors sometimes cannot enjoy national-standard treatment," Guo said.
He pointed out that the different investment policies have resulted in a mutual investment imbalance.
Statistics indicate that US investors have plunged about US$60 billion into China, while China has little investment in the US.
"The unfavorable trade measures are not only harmful to Chinese companies but also US investors in the long run as all economies closely interact with each other, especially those of China and the US," Guo warned.
In response, US Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt said the Bush administration is open to foreign investment and emphasized that a sound Sino-US relationship is in the interests of the US.
"The Bush administration welcomes FDI (foreign direct investment) and we will gain mutual benefit from it," Randt said.
But he said for "national security" reasons, some regulations had to be enforced.
Commenting on trade disputes between the two countries, Guo said both sides should consider them in a "comprehensive" way, and the appreciation of China's currency is not a "promising" solution to the problem.
His words come at a time when China faces mounting pressure to increase the value of the renminbi.
"As a matter of fact, China and the US are complementary in trade and exchange rate adjustment can play some role but not a very significant one because China's trade to a great extent has a re-export pattern," Guo said.
The three-day symposium is an annual event jointly organized by the China Development Research Foundation and Harvard University.
(China Daily June 26, 2006)