China on Tuesday urged the United States not to "politicise" a Chinese steelmaker's plan to invest in an American firm, after US lawmakers strongly objected to the deal.
Earlier this month, 50 US legislators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner calling for an investigation into the plans of Anshan Iron and Steel Group, one of China's biggest steelmakers.
The state-run group, also known as Ansteel, signed an agreement with the Mississippi-based Steel Development Company in May that includes construction of five plants in the United States.
"(Chinese) investment will take a very small stake in this deal. But we still saw some US lawmakers were politicising a normal business investment," commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian told reporters.
"It is out of place for some people to push for investigation into a normal deal under the name of market concerns and national security," he said at a regular monthly briefing.
The US lawmakers told Geithner they were "deeply concerned" that Ansteel's "direct investment in an American steel company threatens American jobs and our national security".
"We believe that this investment allows the full force and financing of the Chinese government to exploit the American steel market from American soil," they wrote.
Yao said the US lawmakers' move was "a sign of investment protectionism" and urged the United States to "create a fair and rational environment for Chinese companies to invest".
Earlier this month, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang called for "fair treatment" of Chinese companies by the United States.
Source: AFP Asian Edition