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Foreign firms and investors remain optimistic about the Chinese market despite continuous U.S. threats to raise tariffs on Chinese goods, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Tuesday.

The remarks came as Lu responded to a question about U.S. President Donald Trump’s claim that tariffs on Chinese goods were causing companies to move production out of China to other countries.

Since the start of China-U.S. trade frictions more than a year ago, the United States has repeatedly released information within the country out of political need, sometimes ignoring whether the information was consistent with facts, Lu told a press briefing.

“The United States’ violation of trade rules has brought disturbances to international markets, including China and the United States. But in the end, any enterprise will make policy choices about its investment direction based on its strategic assessment of the economic outlook,” Lu said.
“As a matter of fact, even though the United States has been threatening to raise tariffs on Chinese products for more than a year, foreign investors’ enthusiasm to invest in China remains high, and they are still optimistic about the Chinese market,” Lu added.

Lu mentioned recent increases in investment in China by Exxon Mobil, Tesla, BASF, BMW and other world-renowned enterprises. He cited the FY2018 Survey on the International Operations of Japanese Firms, a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization.

According to the results, Japanese firms remain optimistic about the Chinese market. “China ranks first in terms of Japanese enterprises’ exports, investment and overseas e-commerce strategies,” he said.

Cooperation agreements worth more than 64 billion U.S. dollars were signed during the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing recently, Lu said.

“All these show that against the backdrop of uncertainties and instabilities in the world economy, foreign enterprises have expressed their attitude and firm confidence in the Chinese economy through concrete actions.”

“China, as always, welcomes foreign enterprises to invest in China and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation,” Lu said. “We will continue to provide a more stable, fair, transparent and predictable business environment for foreign investors.”

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