China on Tuesday condemned provisions in a new defence legislation passed by the United States that was seen as targeted at Beijing. The Chinese government said it would examine the provision that has strengthened a panel that reviews proposed foreign investments, reported Reuters.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives more power to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review foreign investment proposals from the viewpoint of national security. It says that among the top priorities of the US is “long-term strategic competition with China”.
China’s Commerce Ministry said it would monitor the impact of the inclusion of the US panel on Chinese companies, and “comprehensively assess the contents”. “The US side should objectively and fairly treat Chinese investors, and avoid CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] becoming an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and US firms,” the ministry said in a statement.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the government was “strongly dissatisfied” with the legislation, which includes “negative China-related content in disregard of China’s firm opposition”.
“We urge the US to discard the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, view China and China-US relations in an objective way, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, and refrain from implementing the relevant negative China-related provisions, lest it should undermine the China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in key areas,” said Lu in a statement.
The legislation had also said the US should improve the defence capabilities of Taiwan, which China claims as its territory as part of the “one-China” policy.
In its most recent National Defense Strategy report released earlier this year, the US had cautioned about the return to an era of “great power” conflict with adversaries such as China and Russia. The report said China was at present “leveraging military modernisation, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce neighbouring countries to reorder the Indo-Pacific region to their advantage”.