China will firmly oppose new U.S. policy to restrict investment in China if related reports are true, Shu Jueting, spokesperson from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) told a press conference on Thursday, as the Biden administration stepped up its suppression of China's high-tech industry.
Shu made the remarks in response to a number of reports published by foreign media outlets including Bloomberg claiming that U.S. President Joe Biden intends to sign an executive order in the coming weeks that will limit investment in key parts of China's economy by American businesses.
According to Bloomberg, the executive order will cover the fields of semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. The administration, which has been debating the measure for almost two years, plans to take action around the time of a summit of the G7 advanced economies which is due to start on May 19 in Japan.
Shu said that the MOFCOM has noticed related reports. "The use of administrative means to intervene to restrict the normal business decisions of enterprises is typical of non-market behavior. To engage in discriminatory restrictions against specific countries is even more contrary to the basic principles of international trade and commerce," Shu noted.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on April 20 said the U.S. is seeking a "constructive" and "fair" economic relationship with China, saying that the U.S. does not seek decoupling with China, and the U.S. economy also benefited from that cooperation.
On the same day, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai also said that the U.S. has no intention to decouple from China during her visit to Japan.
However, amid remarks claiming that the U.S. has no decoupling intentions, the U.S. has repeatedly acted in the opposite way. The latest move marks a new phase in the years-long economic campaign against China that is already seen the U.S. impose tariffs on Chinese imports under ex-president Donald Trump, and more recently seek to restrict exports of key American technologies.
"Now, capital flows between the world's two biggest economies are in the crosshairs," Bloomberg reported.
Shu noted that the U.S. has repeatedly stated that it does not seek to decouple from the Chinese economy and is willing to engage in healthy competition with China. "We hope that the U.S. side will be consistent with its words and actions, abide by international economic and trade rules, respect the right of enterprises to carry out normal investment and trade activities, and make progress together through healthy competition to achieve mutual benefit," the spokesperson said.
China will pay close attention to the relevant movements and resolutely safeguard its rights and interests, Shu added.