[ti:China Cuts US Investments]
[00:00.04]China's direct investment in the United States has dropped sharply in recent years.
[00:09.16]Rhodium Group, a New York-based research service,
[00:13.56]reports that direct investment dropped by 80 percent from 2016 to 2018.
[00:23.20]The biggest drop came in real estate holdings and hotels.
[00:28.56]Chinese investors seem no longer in a hurry to buy major properties
[00:35.06]in cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
[00:43.68]Chinese real estate investment in the United States rose 200 percent
[00:49.77]from 2015 to 2016, when it reached $16.5 billion.
[00:58.72]Then, it stopped expanding.
[01:01.30]During 2018, not a single Chinese real estate or hotel investment
[01:08.53]reached more than $100 million, the Rhodium Group found.
[01:15.48]Oceanwide Holdings, a Chinese company,
[01:18.81]is putting up buildings on prime properties in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
[01:25.76]Work reportedly has stopped on one of the towers at the San Francisco Oceanwide Center.
[01:34.01]Work also has stopped at the Los Angeles Oceanwide Plaza.
[01:40.10]"The skylines are no longer filled with cranes,
[01:44.09]really supplied by Chinese investments coming over here in the downtown,"
[01:50.01]said Stephen Cheung, president of the World Trade Center in Los Angeles.
[01:56.28]He also is executive vice president of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
[02:05.20]"What we're worried about [is] the construction that's already here that cannot be finished
[02:11.50]because of the financing situations," Cheung said.
[02:16.92]The billion-dollar Oceanwide Plaza is being built on land near the Los Angeles convention center
[02:24.85]and the place where the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers play basketball.
[02:30.86]Construction stopped in January for the Plaza's apartment housing, hotel and shopping center.
[02:39.16]Cheung said he has seen very little activity since then.
[02:44.68]The unfinished building at Oceanwide Plaza is just one sign of a sharp drop in investment money from China.
[02:54.84]Overall, direct foreign investment between the two countries
[02:59.15]set a record in 2016 of $60 billion, the Rhodium Group reported.
[03:07.80]One reason for the drop in investment money is a change in China's monetary policy.
[03:15.80]"There were the currency controls out of China...
[03:19.33]I think it was probably to get money out of China into a safe investment.
[03:25.66](But) the Chinese cracked down," said Dale Goldsmith.
[03:30.10]He is a managing partner at the law offices of Armbruster Goldsmith & Delvac LLP.
[03:39.72]"The Chinese companies couldn't get the money out of China...
[03:43.43]so certain projects here we've seen (stop)," Cheung said.
[03:49.80]Chinese investment had also fallen because of questions being asked
[03:54.73]by a federal watchdog organization, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
[04:02.08]The Rhodium Group estimates the committee's investigation
[04:06.78]has led Chinese investors to walk away from more than $2.5 billion in U. S. deals.
[04:16.24]The relatively strong U.S. economy is another reason for China's declining investment.
[04:24.84]"The dollar has been very strong," said Goldsmith,
[04:28.40]noting that a strong dollar makes investing in the United States less appealing to the Chinese.
[04:36.52]He added that the rising costs of U.S. building projects also hurt.
[04:43.60]In addition, there is no sign the trade war between the two countries will end soon.
[04:49.53]As a result, Chinese companies are not sure whether they should enter the U.S. market, Cheung added.
[04:58.72]The trade war has created a new market.
[05:02.03]To avoid high tariffs, international companies are moving manufacturing out of China.
[05:08.68]They are going to places like Vietnam.
[05:13.00]In Los Angeles, Cheung noted he is seeing increased interest from Southeast Asian countries.
[05:20.48]Vietnam is now looking very carefully into Los Angeles
[05:24.97]because it has such a large Vietnamese population, Cheung said.
[05:31.12]"We're also working with our partners in Singapore and Indonesia
[05:35.81]and Thailand to really expand those opportunities,
[05:40.23]because we have been dependent on China for such a long time," he added.
[05:47.12]So long as economic tensions remain high between China and the United States,
[05:52.97]Los Angeles and other U.S. cities will have to look elsewhere for investments.
[06:00.44]I'm Susan Shand. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM