China tells top global CEOs it will ‘further open up’

Premier Li Keqiang vowed Thursday to further open up China’s economy during a meeting with CEOs of top global companies amid simmering trade tensions with the United States. Washington and other trade partners have long complained about the uneven laying field foreign companies encounter in China, theft of intellectual roperty and entry barriers that allow state-backed companies to dominate rucial sectors of the economy, agency reports.

During the meeting in Beijing with heads of 19 multinational companies, Li ledged to make China more attractive to foreign investors. We welcome more and more foreign investment to come to China,” Li told he group representing the Global CEO Council.

“We will also relax (restrictions on) access to even more fields to create  market-oriented, law-based internationalised business environment.” mong the industry leaders attending the meeting at Beijing’s opulent reat Hall of the People were Volkswagen head Herbert Diess, Pfizer CEO lbert Bourla, Daimler’s Ola Kallenius, UPS chief executive David Abney,
Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk and Nokia’s Rajeev Suri. ean-Pascal Tricoire, head of Schneider Electric, told Li that foreign
firms are the “best bridges” between China and the rest of the world. Since sometime though, the world has been going through turbulences, ensions and challenges,” Tricoire said.

The meeting comes as bruising US tariffs threaten China’s status as the factory of the world,” with companies looking to move production outside the ountry, according to a recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in hina.

The Chinese government also convened top tech companies and warned them of onsequences if they cut off technology sales to the country, the New York imes reported earlier this month.

Last month US President Donald Trump moved to blacklist Chinese tech giant uawei over national security concerns, curbing its access to US-made omponents it needs for its equipment.

China later announced plans for its own list of “unreliable” foreign ompanies, which it said targets companies that “undermine national ecurity”.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at the G20 summit in apan next week, raising hopes that trade war talks will be back on track fter they collapsed last month. hina’s rubber-stamp parliament in March approved a foreign investment aw, as a possible olive branch in trade talks with the United States, but it eceived a lukewarm welcome from business groups.