Newspaper article International New York Times

China Pours Billions into U.S. Investments ; Wealth Is Spread Widely, Seemingly without Regard for Politics, Study Finds

Newspaper article International New York Times

China Pours Billions into U.S. Investments ; Wealth Is Spread Widely, Seemingly without Regard for Politics, Study Finds

Article excerpt

A study by the Rhodium Group says the Chinese have poured $46 billion into American concerns since 2000, the bulk of it in the last five years.

As China increasingly flexes its financial muscle, the country's companies are spreading their wealth broadly across the United States instead of chasing major lawmakers or causes.

A new study, which looked at Chinese investment by congressional district, found that the money was scattered across every region. Chinese companies are buying trophy properties in New York. They are building manufacturing operations in the Midwest. And they are snapping up Internet companies in California.

In all, Chinese companies have invested $46 billion in the United States since 2000, with most coming in the last five years, according to a study prepared by the Rhodium Group, a New York research firm, that was to be released on Wednesday.

At the same time, geopolitical tensions with China have been rising. Washington is worried about China's construction of artificial islands and at least one military-grade airstrip on disputed shoals, as well as the country's deployment of multiple, independently targeted hydrogen bomb warheads. The Obama administration has also raised concerns about the new Chinese-led development bank.

The steadily rising corporate investment could quell some of the criticism of China in Congress, said Stephen A. Orlins, the president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, a nonprofit group that sponsored the Rhodium study and promotes cooperation between the two countries, and is releasing the report with Rhodium.

"If you've got 3,000 to 4,000 of your people working for the Chinese, that's feeding a lot of your constituents," Mr. Orlins said.

That said, Chinese investment alone is unlikely to quiet the criticism.

"The geo-security tension will get worse, so the economic upside better be strong to offset the negativity," said Daniel Rosen, the Rhodium Group partner who oversees the company's work on China.

China's approach to American investment contrasts with the 1980s push by Japan, when that country was the world's rising export powerhouse.

Back then, the Japanese government encouraged the country's automakers and other very large manufacturers to open factories in crucial congressional districts as a way to blunt pressures for legislation limiting imports to slow heavy American job losses. …

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