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The People's Daily, China

Playing the “National Security” Card Does
Not Help the US Economy to Prosper

By Sheng Zhong

Translated By Stefanie Zhou

27 December 2012

Edited by Daye Lee

China - The People's Daily - Original Article (Chinese)

Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence and retired U.S. Navy Admiral Dennis C. Blair recently wrote in a recent article for POLITICO that the “Wanxiang/A123 deal is a win-win transaction that poses no danger."

Blair's viewpoint coincides with a ruling by a U.S. bankruptcy court. The court approved the deal several days ago because “the sale has clear benefits for A123’s employees, customers and creditors.”* Wanxiang is currently awaiting the final judgment by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. As the former Director of National Intelligence, Blair once had a say in the decision-making process of CFIUS. His conclusion should be authoritative in determining whether Waixang's investment is harmful to U.S. security.

In recent years, more and more Chinese enterprises are targeting their investments toward the U.S. Every governmental level, from the federal to the local, has welcomed investments from China. In practice, however, many Chinese investors encounter "security bottlenecks." The argument is that "so-called" technologies, which have been developed with American taxpayers' dollars, should not fall into the hands of Chinese companies. These “acquisition threatens national security” arguments do not die down. As a result, many promising investments have been strangled in their cradles. This resistance has greatly restricted the potential flow of Chinese investment into the U.S. Ninety percent of China's foreign investment is concentrated in developing countries; yet, Chinese investments account for less than 0.1 percent of the total foreign investment that the U.S. attracts.

The U.S. government is eager to create jobs, promote economic recovery and ensure that more manufacturing jobs remain in the United States. Opening up to the Chinese capital, and its significant growth potential, can only benefit the U.S. Many Americans bluntly point out that certain lawmakers who are waving the big stick of “national security” are not really anxious about the national security of the United States, but rather, cannot adapt to changing Sino-U.S. economic relations.

Sino-U.S. economic relations are at a turning point. Although China and the U.S. remain highly complementary and cooperative in trade, a competitive side is starting to emerge in both parties. As China moves up the market ladder, investments by Chinese companies with technological advantages are posing threats to competing U.S. companies and hurting interest groups. This is the reason that Chinese companies with technological capital have frequently encountered “security bottlenecks” in recent years. People who, out of personal interests, are hindering the ability of Chinese enterprises to invest in the U.S. seem to forget that healthy competition promotes enterprise development. Consumers are the ones that benefit from competition, and competition itself is an inexhaustible source of innovation in American culture.

A balanced and growing Sino-U.S. trade and investment relation will lay a solid foundation for the prosperity of the two nations. Deepening Sino-U.S. cooperation in the field of investment is currently one of the economic and trade priorities for both governments. However, in order to deepen investment cooperation, an equal and open environment must be established. Having said this, equality and openness are not one way streets. China and the United States have already launched a new bilateral investment protection agreement, but the United States needs to have a more open attitude toward Chinese investment.

Economic cooperation is the “ballast tank” for Sino-U.S. relations. Cultivating an open, fair and transparent investment environment not only allows the "ballast" to perform its stabilizing role, but also will positively affect Sino-U.S. relations as a whole.

*Editor's Note: This quote is from Dennis C. Blair's article for POLITICO.com and does not actually reflect the view of the court.



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