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Ministry rejects German criticism

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-12 07:17
Visitors check out Siemens medical equipment at an industry expo in Beijing. [Provided to China Daily]

The Foreign Ministry said on Friday that growing investment from foreign companies in the country is the best refutation of a German industry association report that sounded an alarm about Beijing's reluctance to open up access to the Chinese market.

"Business heads vote with their feet. If the Chinese market is not open enough and full of barriers and challenges as claimed by some reports, how could so many foreign enterprises, including German ones, be attracted to invest in this market?" Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press conference in Beijing.

In a paper presented on Thursday, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) called on the European Union to adopt a tougher policy toward China and urged companies to reduce their dependence on the Chinese market as concerns mount over price dumping and technology transfers, Reuters reported.

According to Lu, China-Germany trade cooperation, investments and technology transfers by companies was the result of voluntary transactions by market players, and it is by nature a mutually beneficial relationship.

"We hope related organizations will regard the trade and investment cooperation between China and Germany in a positive and objective way," he said, urging them not to mislead or otherwise jeopardize the positive environment of bilateral cooperation.

From January to November last year, the volume of investment by German companies in China increased by 86 percent over the same period of 2017, Lu said.

On Wednesday, German chemical giant BASF signed a framework agreement setting out further details of its plan to establish a new smart Verbund site in southern China's Guangdong province after it selected the city of Zhanjiang for its second Verbund site in 2018.

The project will include a wholly owned steam cracker with a planned capacity of 1 million metric tons of ethylene per year, the company's website said.

"This is the first case of exclusively foreign-owned enterprise in China's heavy chemical industry, with total investment expected to reach $10 billion," Lu said.

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