China's President Xi Jinping talks with Chief Executive Officer of Disney Bob Iger as they meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
BEIJING (Reuters) - President Xi Jinping told Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger on Thursday China would encourage more cooperation with foreign companies and organizations, amid persistent U.S.-China commercial tensions.
Trade friction is an issue in the U.S. presidential race, with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump asserting China has waged "economic war" on the United States, destroying American jobs. On Sunday, he compared the U.S. trade deficit with China to "rape".
China recently passed a law governing foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which has been roundly criticized by the U.S. government and business groups.
"China will facilitate exchanges and cooperation for foreign companies, organizations and personnel," China's official Xinhua news agency cited Xi as telling Iger.
"China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation is an important part of bilateral relations. The two countries' economies are complementary and there is great potential and wide prospects for trade cooperation."
Xi also reiterated that China supported an early conclusion of a U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty.
The United States reported a $366-billion trade deficit with China in 2015, up from $343 billion in 2014 - the largest U.S. imbalance with any nation.
China's new foreign NGO law, passed last week despite intense criticism and lobbying by the West, brings such groups under the Ministry of Public Security, giving police broad authority over NGOs' finances and work.
Disney's $5.5 billion Shanghai resort, a joint venture between the U.S. entertainment giant and Chinese state-backed consortium Shanghai Shendi Group, is scheduled to open on June 16.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; editing by Andrew Roche)