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China warns US on turning away investors

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

China on Thursday warned that the United States was turning away major investment from the growing Asian economy after several high-profile firms faced obstacles on security grounds.

Cui Tiankai, China's new ambassador in Washington, acknowledged that most investment in the United States was approved but said that Chinese investors keen to enter the world's largest economy were alarmed by several rejections.

"Sometimes the reasons offered are not so convincing. I am afraid that will affect investors' confidence and that will, in the long run, turn away some of the important investors," Cui told the Committee of 100, a Chinese American group.

Saying that Chinese investment would create needed jobs in the United States, Cui complained that Washington had pressed Beijing to liberalize its economy when the Asian power was joining the World Trade Organization.

"Today it seems to me that this has been the banner of China. So what has been preached to us is not always practiced," he said.

"Unless we can remove such barriers from mutual investment, I'm afraid the prospect of mutual investment would be very negatively affected," he said.

Cui's remarks come after Chinese telecom giant Huawei said that it would no longer focus on the US market for its core business after lawmakers charged that the company posed a security threat.

A report by the US Congress last year said that equipment by Huawei and another Chinese company, ZTE, could be used for spying and called for their exclusion from government contracts and acquisitions.

Huawei has denied those claims and tried -- to no avail -- to show its transparency by releasing annual reports despite not being a listed company.

In 2005, US concerns about security also scuttled a bid by the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp. to take over US oil major Unocal.

More recently, President Barack Obama blocked a Chinese-led group from purchasing several wind farms near a US naval station, saying the acquisition threatened national security.

The speech was the first in Washington by Cui since he was appointed last month as ambassador. Cui has long worked closely with the United States as a foreign ministry official.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130425/china-warns-us-turning-away-investors