The People’s Republic of China is wining and dining major American companies, trying to convince them that the time is ripe for investing in the PRC.
Apple Inc’s Tim Cook and Jon McNeill of Tesla Motors were among dozens of western executives who spent a long and unseasonably warm weekend here strolling the grounds where Mao Zedong once lived, surrounded by blooming magnolia trees and gliding swans.
Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli:
China will push for a higher level of economic opening-up[.]
And Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council
We are obviously seeing very positive rhetoric for how China sees its potential future place in the economy[.]
The trouble is, it’s only rhetoric that’s coming out of the PRC. It’s unimportant that the PRC “will push for a higher level of economic opening-up.” The fact remains that the PRC requires foreign companies to take on as major, if not senior, partners a PRC government-approved domestic company as a condition of doing business inside the PRC. The fact remains that the PRC requires a measure of technology transfer from the foreign company to domestic companies as a condition of doing business inside the PRC. The fact remains that the PRC requires the foreign companies to take on board government apparatchiks as a condition of doing business inside the PRC.
Positive rhetoric is cheap. The PRC must open up its economy, not just prattle on about it. Then foreign companies can profitably invest there. Not before.