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China says it's increasing foreign access to its markets amid reports US may consider curbing investment

Key Points
  • "It is necessary to further expand the high-level two-way opening of the financial industry, encourage overseas financial institutions and funds to enter the domestic financial market," the Chinese State Council says.
  • On Friday, the Trump administration officials are considering ways to limit U.S. investors' portfolio flows into China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 25, 2019.
Nicolas Asfour | Reuters

Chinese officials maintained a long-established position that they were accelerating efforts to open financial markets and encourage foreign flows amid reports the White House deliberated limiting U.S. investments in China.

"It is necessary to further expand the high-level two-way opening of the financial industry, encourage overseas financial institutions and funds to enter the domestic financial market, and enhance the vitality and competitiveness of China's financial system," the Financial Stability and Development Committee of the State Council said in a statement Sunday.

The statement concerned a meeting that took place in China on Friday local time.

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On Friday, Trump administration officials were said to be considering ways to limit U.S. investors' portfolio flows into China, including delisting Chinese companies from American stock exchanges and preventing U.S. government pension funds from investing in the Chinese market. One of the options is blocking all U.S. financial investments in Chinese companies, CNBC reported.

Monica Crowley, assistant U.S. Treasury secretary for public affairs, said in a statement over the weekend that "the administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time."

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro called the reports "fake news," saying in an interview with CNBC that "over half of it was highly inaccurate or simply flat-out false."

Still, the tensions come at a crucial time as the U.S. looks for more leverage in trade talks, which restart Oct. 10 in Washington. China state media said Sunday that possible investment curbs are the latest U.S. attempt to decouple from China, which will have "significant repercussions."

President Donald Trump is sticking to his hard stance on China, saying in a tweet Monday, "We are winning, and we will win."

U.S. and global financial institutions have gradually increased their exposure to the Chinese market over the years. The flagship bond benchmark Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index started adding Chinese bonds this year. Global stock index provider MSCI has included more than $1.9 trillion worth of mainland Chinese A-shares to its key emerging markets index.

— Clarification: This story has been updated to clarify that the statement from the Financial Stability and Development Committee of the State Council concerned a meeting in China on Friday local time, that took place prior to reports the White House was considering ways to limit U.S. investors' portfolio flows into China.