Skip to content

RFI Chinese: Chinese Local Officials Flock Abroad to Seek Investments

Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition recently reported that, since December, large delegations of officials from across China have already made hundreds of visits to Asia and Europe. Local governments have been scrambling to meet growth and employment targets. According to three sources, local officials, along with their municipal and provincial supervisors and local businesses, have been traveling abroad more than ever before. The Chinese economy has paid a huge price due to China’s strict Zero Covid policy. After three years behind closed borders, officials have traveled to Hong Kong, Paris and the like within days of the restrictions being lifted. Their urgency underscores the pressure on local governments to boost growth while saddled with a cumulative US$9 trillion in debt. A video that was posted online by the government of the eastern province of Jiangsu showed a 200-member Chinese delegation even chanting slogans like “grab new orders” as they boarded a private jet bound for Europe at 1 am. Just two days after China abruptly lifted the Zero Covid restrictions, that delegation alone was said to be scheduled to hold more than 230 business meetings in Europe. Wuxi, which is close to the commercial center of Shanghai, held 85 signing ceremonies during a 7-day trip to Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen, with a total transaction value of RMB 156 billion yuan (around US$22.7 billion). However, many foreign investors are still complaining about the unfair playing field, intellectual property theft and unpredictable rules for overseas companies.

Source: RFI Chinese, April 7, 2023