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For debt-ridden U.S., Europe, best option is to welcome Chinese investments

English.news.cn   2011-09-20 12:33:09 FeedbackPrintRSS

by Jiang Hanlu

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Three years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the world economy still grows at a painfully slow pace as both the United States and the European Union (EU) face unprecedented levels of public debt and heightened economic uncertainty.

During the darkest days of the financial crisis late 2008, China, together with other major developed and emerging economies, rolled out ambitious stimulus plans, helping to stabilize the global financial markets and successfully bring the world economy back from an unfathomable abyss.

However, stimulus measures in many countries are running out of steam and private sectors have failed to live up to the task of leading economic growth. These negative signs, coupled with unsustainable debt and deficit levels in many developed countries, mean the world economy now faces substantial downward pressure.

For the United States and Europe, the worst part of the ongoing economic mess is that they have little policy maneuvering room to boost their economies compared to three years ago.

Benchmark interest rates are already at historical lows in the United States and cash-strapped governments in Europe can hardly think of any other fiscal stimulus.

Looking outward, China, with strong economic growth and a vast foreign exchange reserve, could play a positive role in working out a solution to the current predicament, but this could only come with some fundamental changes to prevailing incorrect thinking about Chinese investments in the developed world.

It would help the United States and the EU break away from their current financial woes should they ditch protectionist measures and sincerely open their arms to Chinese investments, allowing China to make the most of its rich foreign exchange reserves.

Chinese investors have long complained about being discriminated in some developed countries, especially in politically sensitive areas like energy and telecommunications infrastructure.

Strong opposition to Chinese investments in the United States and some European countries could be about misplaced national security concerns. It could also come from pure protectionism or hard feelings about "Chinese buying up things on our turf."

This tendency to turn away Chinese investments could cost dearly not only to Chinese investors seeking to go global but also to the United States and some European countries themselves because it actually shuts one of the most promising areas where developed countries and China can work together to tame the current financial crisis.

It is important for the United States and Europe to understand that China's direct foreign investments are born out of a win-win strategy and, when examined with unbiased eyes, fairly innocuous to their national security.

For example, China, with its vast foreign exchange reserves and rich experience in building up world-class infrastructure, could help the United States renew its outdated roads, bridges and railway systems.

In Europe, Chinese money can do a lot more than by buying government bonds as the two sides can work out many potential cooperative initiatives involving financial services, innovation, renewable energy and low carbon economy.

More importantly, if the United States and the EU continue to look at Chinese investments through colored lens, they could raise serious questions on the Chinese part about their sincerity to pursue a mutually beneficial economic partnership with China.

Therefore, the United States and euro zone economies should adopt a rational view toward China's normal investment activities and ditch the fancy of "China Threat."

Editor: Yamei Wang
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