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Snow to seek more open China markets
Updated: 2005-10-17 07:12

Similarly, European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet counseled a soft approach on Chinese currency reform, saying "We've always been discreet in this respect."

Analysts have suggested that some of what Washington seeks represents "pushing on an open door" since China is already firmly embarked on a course of economic reforms to boost its citizens' wealth.

Snow to seek more open China markets
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King (C) chats with U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan (R) after a luncheon during the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Grand Epoch City in Xianghe of the Hebei province, about 100 km (62 miles) east of Beijing October 15, 2005.[Reuters]

Just before the JEC talks opened, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox made a pitch for Chinese companies that want to go public to list on U.S. exchanges.

"It would send a powerful signal not only to American investors but to investors around the world," Cox said, if Chinese companies spent the effort and money to meet U.S. regulatory standards.

The United States wants China to remove foreign ownership limits on financial institutions like investment-banking forms and banks. Currently, foreigners are prohibited from owning more than 25 percent of a commercial bank and no single foreign investor can own more than 20 percent.

In addition, the United States is proposing that China end a rule that foreign financial institutions seeking to buy Chinese securities must have at least $10 billion in assets and have been in business at least five years.

Snow, who has been repeating a call for China to permit increased currency flexibility -- beyond the modest 2.1 percent revaluation it announced in July -- has been meeting as many reformers in China as possible to try to give the U.S. calls for reform impetus.

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