Facts have shown that the British government has taken discriminatory measures against investment by Chinese companies, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the UK said on Wednesday, in response to media reports revealing that eight China-related investments were rejected by the UK government in the past year.
Citing figures from the British Cabinet Office, the Financial Times reported that UK ministers used “national security powers” to call in 65 investments during the 12-month period by the end of March 2023, and “more than 40 percent of the call-in notices related to investments associated with China, more than any other country,” the report said.
Ultimately, 15 were the subject of a final order, under which the government intervenes. “Some eight of the final orders related to investments linked with China,” the report said.
China-UK economic and trade cooperation should adhere to the principle of equality and mutual benefit, and abusing national security laws to deliberately suppress foreign companies violates WTO rules, the spokesperson said.
"We strongly urge the British side to stop its unreasonable oppression of Chinese companies and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies," the spokesperson said.
During a recent event in Beijing commemorating the 70th anniversary of the “Icebreaking Mission” in China-UK trade, about 100 representatives from the Chinese and British business communities attended the event.
Guests at the event noted that China-UK cooperation will benefit the people of both countries, vowing to ramp up efforts to promote the development of bilateral trade, and make greater contributions to the promotion of friendly cooperation.
In the first five months of this year, real investment by British companies in China increased by 179.2 percent year-on-year, according to data released by China’s Ministry of Commerce.