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15 July 2024

China to avoid "Buy China" in stimulus

Migrant worker Zhong Yan (L) speaks to her friends outside her clothing shop in the town of Zhugao in China's southwest Sichuan province. Zhong, 26, returned home to rural Sichuan province in December and plunged into China's now perilous business waters, opening the small clothing shop with her savings and a new government credit line for peasant businesses (AFP)

By Reuters

China will not attach a "Buy China" requirement to its fiscal stimulus package and hopes other countries will resist protectionism, a vice commerce minister said on Monday.

Jiang Zengwei did not directly criticise the provisional "Buy American" stipulations of the U.S. economic stimulus plan, which have been challenged by officials from Europe to Brazil.

However, Jiang urged all countries to support international trade, noting that no country was able to meet all its own demand through its own products.

"Why should one be protectionist under the current circumstances? I don't think China will implement 'Buy China'. As long as there's demand, we'll treat domestic and foreign products the same way," Jiang told a news conference.

Looking to prop up growth in the face of the global slowdown, Beijing late last year announced a 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package focused largely on infrastructure and other investments.

Some foreign businesses have expressed concerns that their domestic competitors might be given preferential treatment in procurement for those contracts.