China, U.S. Hope Boycotts, Disinvestment Don't Follow Protests

HONG KONG: Although violent anti-U.S. demonstrations have fizzled out, foreign investors must still face lingering resentment from the Chinese over the bombing of their Belgrade embassy. Major American industrialists are stressing their commitment to China, and for good reason: Any domestic boycott of U.S.-made goods would have disastrous consequences, particularly for companies such as General Motors Corp., which recently opened a Shanghai plant. At the Beijing Jeep Corp., a joint venture with DaimlerChrysler, vice president Andy Okab says the Chinese government is concerned about long-term unrest, and feels it is in the interests of both countries to resume business as usual. The demonstrations were the largest China has seen since the Tiananmen Square student massacre 10 years ago, but this time investor confidence has not been so quick to disintegrate, which is good news for China. With increasing unemployment and ailing state enterprises, the last thing Beijing leaders want to see is foreign companies pulling the investment plug.

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