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Opinion

EU must not be naive about Chinese promises of fairer competition

Beijing talks up equality for foreign and domestic businesses but action is slow

| China
There is reason to doubt effectiveness of Li Keqiang's promises.   © Reuters

In mid-October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised a delegation of foreign businesses that China would "create a market-oriented, law-based and international business environment... in which Chinese and foreign-invested enterprises will be treated as equals."

Noise from the U.S.-China trade war is making it difficult to appreciate that these could be more than just empty words. But there is a real debate going on in China in which reformers are promoting the idea of greater competitive neutrality for foreign businesses and China's state and private companies.

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