China’s parliament is to pass new laws against the West’s overreach in tech and trade. Photo: AFP

Chinese policymakers are fast-tracking major legislation aimed at reforming foreign-investment rules and strengthening protection of foreign firms. The measure is going through the final stages of review and an official vote to pass the changes is planned for this week, Caixin reported on Monday.

The accelerated process comes as trade talks between the US and China drag on and amid speculation that another round of negotiations will be needed before Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping can meet to make a deal official.

Key provisions in the new law are seen as an attempt to address concerns raised by the Trump administration, including stipulations banning the forced transfer of technology.

Much of what has been made public of the new policy has faced criticism from foreign business groups as either not going far enough or being excessively vague. But Chinese media has touted the development as a landmark comparable to the foreign investment laws passed from 1979 through the 1980s.

The law is being passed through the legislative process at a “dizzying speed” not seen since a transformative set of foreign investment laws were passed in 1979, according to Caixin.

The trade talks are likely adding pressure for Beijing to show concrete progress on concessions, though it is unclear whether the law will appease the Trump administration.

The statute in the draft law referring to forced technology transfer – a practice China has persistently denied – has been criticized by many, including scholars inside of China, as being ambiguous and difficult to implement.

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