The expulsion of American journalists from China sends the wrong message about China’s investment environment. The free flow of commerce and the free flow of information are inextricably linked. Businesses make investment decisions based on information, ideally from multiple sources. Our businesses already suffer from difficulty accessing information in China and about China. The expulsion of journalists from globally respected news organizations aggravates this problem.
Our 2020 China Business Climate Survey Report shows rising tensions in the US-China relationship as a top concern for American companies in China. Following the supply chain disruptions caused by the trade war and the COVID-19 global pandemic, we need cooperation to combat the pandemic and restore confidence in the market and investment. While the bilateral commercial relationship underpins the wider relationship, actions like this will aggravate tensions – a lose-lose scenario for both countries. To avoid that outcome and to lessen the negative impact of a protracted trade dispute, now is the time for both governments to de-escalate the war of words, step back from rhetorical gamesmanship, and prepare to move forward on the next stage of trade negotiations.