China has accused the US of making irresponsible remarks after a top official at the US Treasury Department accused Beijing of expanding government control over the Chinese economy.
Speaking at The Institute of International Finance, David Malpass, the US Undersecretary for International Affairs, had slammed China’s investment rules that restrict access for foreign firms, saying this “makes it very hard for the world to invest in China” in ways that are compatible with the investor country’s laws.
Malpass also told the conference that an increasing amount of state control over China’s economy, coupled with the end of term limits for President Xi Jinping, was “worrisome to the world.”
He said “having such a big economy in the world move away from markets has not been good for us and the world and will continue to cause difficulty.”
“Our invitation is for the world to recognize this and also for China to recognize this commercially and move toward freedom and market orientation,” he told the IIF conference that coincides with a G20 meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“This is completely an unworkable and non-reciprocal arrangement,” he said.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded Monday and said, “China’s socialist market economy has made huge achievements. This is an undeniable conclusion that any unbiased person will surely arrive at and that will not be changed by any random criticism or irresponsible remarks by certain US official.”
“Reform and opening-up is China’s fundamental state policy. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.”
She emphasized “China’s reform and opening up will keep going on without an end.”
A recent US decision to impose tariffs on steel imports from China and encourage high-level contacts with Taiwanese officials has added to tensions between the two economic powerhouses.
In early March, US President Donald Trump officially announced steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Defying his own party and delivering on a campaign promise to fight unfair practices by America’s trading partners, Trump signed paperwork enacting tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum during a ceremony at the White House.
“Today, I am defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum,” said Trump who was flanked by steel and aluminum workers.
Trump claimed the American steel and aluminum industry has been “ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices.”