Western countries and emerging economies should accord neutral treatment to China's State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to give those SOEs the same footing as private-sector rivals in global markets.
Since the B20 summit 2018 in Buenos Aires, where some attendees one-sidedly singled out certain topics including SOEs, China's State-owned companies have become a focus of economic debate. The US is trying to include provisions in trade deals that run contrary to China's interests and arouse resentment toward China's SOEs. Why do some US officials and scholars target China's SOEs? Discrimination against China's SOEs is actually an attack against China's basic economic system in which public ownership plays a dominant role and diverse forms of ownership develops side by side.
China has the right to choose a path of development that is suited to its national conditions instead of copying others' paths or following other countries' instructions. A market economy with Chinese characteristics has been proven effective.
Over the past 40 years, China has pursued development and created an economic miracle. The country helped hundreds of millions of people emerge from poverty, which is unprecedented in world history.
We can hardly imagine a global economy without the participation of China. The world must respect China's path of development, which is a basic prerequisite for doing business with China. Treating China's SOEs according to the principle of competitive neutrality is an important aspect of showing respect to the country's basic economic system.
China has made great progress in SOE reform, with the establishment of modern enterprise systems that ensure SOEs operate in the same way as private-sector enterprises. Opportunities must be equal for all companies, and no company should experience discrimination just because of its ownership structure.
China's SOEs have adhered to the rules and obligations of the WTO system. Western countries should also comply with WTO rules and offer equal treatment to Chinese companies, instead of claiming that China's SOEs are inherently defective due to their ownership structure.
Western countries must learn to respect China's economic system. It's the only way Western companies can gain reciprocal respect for their interests in the Chinese market.
The author is a reporter with the Global Times. firstname.lastname@example.org