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Cao Wenlian, Director General of the International Cooperation Center of National Development and Reform Commission(ICC-NDRC)


Q: "It seems though the Chinese government was encouraging overseas investment for a while but more recently is discouraging it.  Why is that? What is the policy?"

A: "The Chinese government is not discouraging overseas investment. It's just that the government has started regulating overseas investment. You know, when making overseas investments, there might be some risks. What the Chinese government has done is to control or fend off the risks. That might make the outside world feel that the Chinese government is discouraging investments abroad. But it’s not.  In fact, overseas investments have become more regulated.  So what the Chinese government has done is good -- not only for the economy but also for risk control."

Q: "From the outside, a lot of investors look
at what is happening in China and they have a feeling there is a crackdown on certain types of companies that invest heavily abroad.  Wanda had an asset sale.  HNA changed its structure. Are these companies under government scrutiny?"

A: "I think for companies, especially for multinational ones, it’s quite natural for
them to adjust their asset allocation according to the changing situation
including asset allocation in different industries and in different countries. It’s quite normal. And also the chairman of the Wanda Group pointed out
that the recent changes are all included in the company’s strategy. So it’s

Q: "So they are not under government
investigation then?"

A: "I think you need to direct your question to the company. I believe every government is responsible for overseeing the behavior of their companies -- to see that their leverage and other actions are in line with international laws."

Q: "The recent pull back in overseas investment by China and the apparent changing attitude of the government toward overseas investment and companies involved in overseas investment seems to have created a lot of confusion among investors. Just to clarify, so investors should feel Chinese companies are still good partners to negotiate with and there is no problem to do deals with, that they have transparency, and they shouldn’t be worried?"

A: "I think the answer is yes. I still believe that a lot of countries see China currently as 
one of the biggest investors investing abroad.  In fact, I’m not worried about a scale back of Chinese overseas investment. Instead, I worry that the pace might be too fast and the volume too large.  When Japan and South Korea got rich, they over invested. It hurt the global economy.  To put it in layman's terms, if a man gets rich, it's easier for him to squander his wealth. So from the perspective of the Chinese government and our internal think tank, we should rein in the belts of companies and
remind them that their investments need to be wiser."

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