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News Summary: Dispute spurs doubt for China stocks

The Associated Press

STOCK SPAT: A mounting dispute between Washington and Beijing over access to records of Chinese companies with U.S.-traded shares might force major corporate names such as oil giant PetroChina and search engine Baidu to withdraw from American stock exchanges.

AT ISSUE: This month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused the Chinese affiliates of five major accounting firms of impeding fraud investigations of nine companies by failing to hand over documents. Separately, an American accounting panel wants to inspect Chinese auditors of U.S.-traded companies.

THE UPSHOT: The dispute highlights the clash between heightened U.S. anti-fraud efforts and official Chinese secrecy despite Beijing's desire to profit from the global economy.