China's Li promises more open economy amid complaints about anti-monopoly crackdown

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China's premier has promised to open the world's No. 2 economy wider to foreign companies amid a wave of anti-monopoly investigations that business groups say might be aimed at limiting foreign competition.

Speaking to businesspeople in the eastern city of Tianjin, Premier Li Keqiang made no mention Wednesday of the probes against foreign automakers, drug and technology suppliers and other companies. He said Beijing opposes trade protectionism and "will continue to pursue a more proactive strategy of opening up."

The premier promised to create a business environment that would attract foreign companies and investment.

Business groups say Chinese regulators appear to be using anti-monopoly and other investigations to promote domestic companies and hamper foreign competitors. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said this week that may violate Beijing's free-trade commitments.