Beijing appeals to U.S for fairness under investment law

China appealed to Washington not to misuse security concerns to hamper business activity after President Donald Trump signed a law that expands the jurisdiction of an investment review panel.

The law signed by Trump expands the authority of a government security panel to scrutinise foreign investments. It was prompted by complaints Chinese companies were taking advantage of gaps in U.S law and improperly obtaining technology and possibly sensitive information.

"The United States should treat Chinese investors objectively and fairly and avoid making a national security review an obstacle to Chinese-U.S enterprises' investment cooperation," said a Commerce Ministry statement.

Other governments including Germany and Britain also are uneasy about rising Chinese investment, the communist Beijing government's behind-the-scenes role and acquisitions of technology that might have military uses or is seen as an important economic asset.

The U.S security panel, known as CFIUS, reviews foreign acquisitions of American assets for possible security threats.

Critics say legislation governing its powers, last updated a decade ago, was antiquated and failed to take into account tactics used by some Chinese companies.

The legislation signed by Trump expands CFIUS jurisdiction to cover entities that might own a minority stake in a company that makes a purchase. It also gives CFIUS authority to prevent loss of sensitive personal information.

The legislation also gives CFIUS authority to initiate its own investigations instead of waiting for a buyer to seek approval.

(Agencies)