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Banker accuses US of unfair play
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
2007-10-18 07:34

A leading banker Wednesday criticized the United States for not treating China as an "equal player" when its banks seek to enter the US market.

The US stance is "unfair" toward China, which has opened its doors wide to US banks in accordance with various agreements between the two countries, Guo Shuqing, board chairman of China Construction Bank said.

He was speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Guo said his bank is negotiating with US regulators about opening branches there, but had encountered a lot of barriers.

"It's unreasonable that the US side controls the application process, not to mention the final decision," Guo said. "That's unfair to us."

The US regulatory body currently only allows the Bank of China and the Bank of Communications to operate subsidiaries in the US.

He said the US government and banking regulators think China's banking system is vulnerable to crises and that banks are short of capital.

"That may have been the case in the past, but the situation has changed," Guo said.

He said some of the financial risks and uncertainties created by China's opening-up may still exist in the banking system, but the country's ability to avert crises has improved a lot in recent years.

Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said earlier that the US had been putting political pressure on China to open its financial sector.

Guo said China had already sped up reforms of its currency policy, and banks from the US and other countries have been allowed to do business in China.

Guo also urged Taiwan to open its financial market to the mainland.

"It's an urgent task because business and trade between Taiwan and the mainland are becoming increasingly robust," he said.


  Hu Jintao -- General Secretary of CPC Central Committee
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