BEIJING: China’s rubber-stamp parliament approved a foreign investment law Friday that may serve as an olive branch in trade talks with the United States, but it received a lukewarm welcome from business groups, reports AFP.
The legislation aims to address long-running grievances from foreign firms including stronger protections for intellectual property, but the US and European chambers of commerce voiced concerns that they were not given enough time to give their input.The National People’s Congress voted 2,929 in favour of the law—with eight against and eight abstentions—barely three months after a first draft was debated, an unusually quick turnaround for the legislature, which meets once a year.
The move comes as US and Chinese negotiators hold complex talks aimed at resolving a months-long trade war that has pounded businesses with tariffs on $360 billion in two-way commerce.
US President Donald Trump said Thursday the negotiations should wrap up within four weeks, adding: “We are getting what we have to get.”
China’s top trade negotiator, Liu He, held phone talks with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with the official Xinhua news agency saying they made “substantial progress”.