A Chinese envoy to the US offered easier access to China's markets for foreign investors, promising reforms "beyond expectations", as Washington moves to institute punishing trade and other sanctions against Beijing for rules that restrict foreign participants.
Speaking at a China General Chamber of Commerce USA event, New York-based Consul General Zhang Qiyue said barriers will be removed or eased for foreign investors in the country's financial sector and that market entry standards will be the same for Chinese and foreign banks.
"Many more measures will be introduced this year and some of the measures will be beyond the expectations of foreign companies and investors."
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Beijing is facing a groundswell of acrimony from US policymakers and members of Congress over an ever-increasing trade imbalance in China's favour and restrictions on US companies operating in the Asian country.
US President Donald Trump accused the country of actively undermining American national security.
Lawmakers have portrayed China's support for "national champions" in the tech sector and efforts to acquire advanced technology from US companies as part of a plan to gain military advantages over Washington.
Trump is expected to announce imminently the imposition of a package of as much as US$60 billion worth of annual tariffs on telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics and other goods from China, the result of a months-long investigation into rules faced by foreign companies operating in the country.
The White House will unveil the sanctions on Thursday, Agence-France Presse reported, citing spokesman Raj Shah.
In August, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer launched an investigation under section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974 into the Chinese regulations, which force US companies operating in the country to transfer technology and intellectual property rights to local business partners.
Soon afterward, USTR began taking testimony from US companies, seeking verification that the Chinese government uses unfair tactics on US companies' operations in China "to require or pressure the transfer of technologies and intellectual property to Chinese companies", according to USTR documents.
"Our view is we have a very serious problem losing our intellectual property, which is the single biggest advantage of the US economy," Lighthizer said in a congressional hearing on Wednesday.
"We are losing that to China in ways that aren't reflective of the underlying economics.
"As of today, the administration hasn't been satisfied with the types of responses we're getting from China," the top US trade negotiator said.