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'Golden Era': China's Global Triumphant March Prompts Panic in West

© AP Photo / Wang Dingchang/XinhuaAs part of a major push towards automation, the first robots-only factory is being built in China's Dongguan manufacturing hub, reducing human employees to a bare minimum.
As part of a major push towards automation, the first robots-only factory is being built in China's Dongguan manufacturing hub, reducing human employees to a bare minimum. - Sputnik International
China's investment in the US has surpassed America's investment into China, the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization's latest report highlights. However, China's global expansion has prompted growing concerns in the West which is yet to reconcile itself with the reality of its fading economic influence in the world.

China continues its triumphant march across the globe with Chinese companies having invested a record $145.6 billion abroad in 2015, the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization highlights in its latest report dubbed the Blue Book of Chinese Enterprise Globalization.

"We saw three highlights in China's outbound investment over the last year. One, for the first time, China has seen a net outflow of capital. Two, we have surpassed Japan to become the second largest source of foreign investment in the world. And finally, China's investment in the United States has surpassed US investment into China," Wang Huiyao, one of the authors of the report, told China Daily.

China's flag is displayed next to the American flag on the side of the Old Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington (File) - Sputnik International
Beijing 'Alarmed' About Trade Relations With US Amid Talk of Investment Ban
According to the report, over the last two years the world has seen China's enterprises increasingly making overseas purchases or participating in mergers.

All in all overseas mergers and acquisitions have reached $110 billion since the beginning of 2016, the People's Daily notes, adding that China's outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has ranked second in the world for the first time.

Citing the report's authors, the media outlet emphasizes that the period between 2015 and 2016 has become a "golden era" for Chinese enterprises investing overseas.

However, it appears that Western powers are not so enthusiastic about China's globalization efforts.

US lawmakers have raised the alarm over China's global expansion.

Citing an October draft report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, The Washington Free Beacon signaled that American policy-makers were seeking to ban Chinese state-owned enterprises' purchases of US companies.

"The Commission recommends Congress amend the statute authorizing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to bar Chinese state-owned enterprises from acquiring or otherwise gaining effective control of US companies," the draft read.

The Commission's final document released in mid-November reiterated the US lawmakers' plea, citing security issues.

"The increased acquisition of US assets by Chinese companies has led to growing political concern over the national security risks of such acquisitions. Chinese firms, which often receive state funding, have been particularly active in bidding for US technology assets," the document warned.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, walk on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington - Sputnik International
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Commenting on the matter Alexander Larin of the Russian Academy of Sciences' (RAN) Institute of the Far East called attention to the fact that the discriminatory proposal was voiced out loud following Donald Trump's election.

"Following the election of the new US President, some forces have stirred which want to review economic relations with China," Larin told Sputnik, citing Trump's repeated threats to impose higher tariffs on Chinese goods.

Larin noted that it seems that Trump's election promises to reconsider US-Chinese trade relations were backed by influential players in US industrial circles.

"Bringing this kind of recommendation to Congress demonstrates that Trump has a certain level of support in the business community, and that his eccentric statements during the election campaign had some basis, that he has some support," he noted.

Shanghai, China - Sputnik International
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However, according to Andrey Korneev, deputy director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, the economies of China, the US and EU have become so interdependent that in the event of political frictions between Beijing and the West, the latter would be unable to exert considerable pressure on China.

Following Trump's win Chinese media outlet Global Times posed the question whether Washington under Trump will really dare to start a "trade war" against China.

"China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted," the media outlet noted. 

Likewise, if the US imposes a 45 percent tariff on imports from China, the move would eventually backfire at Washington, The Global Times added.

However, it seems that both American and European decision-makers are seriously concerned about Beijing's growing influence on the world arena.

Last month the German government banned a deal between China's Fujian Grand Chip Investment and Aixtron, a maker of semiconductor equipment near Aachen.

"US intelligences services were behind a sudden decision by the German government to block a Chinese investor from acquiring Aixtron," Handelsblatt Global explained, adding that "Washington is concerned that Beijing might use Aixtron equipment to produce electronic chips for its nuclear program."

Larin pointed out that much in the same manner the West may throw a wrench in China National Chemical Corp's (ChemChina) plans to purchase Syngenta, a global Swiss agribusiness that produces agrochemicals and seeds.

According to Larin, the anti-China recommendations by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission can boost the positions of those Western businesses which perceive Beijing's successful developments as a threat to their interests. 

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