November 11, 2014 / 10:49 AM / in 3 years

China says regrets Mexico's cancellation of rail deal

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he regrets Mexico’s decision to revoke a $3.75 billion offer to Chinese companies to build a high-speed railway and wants companies in China to be treated fairly.

Li made the comments after meeting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at an Asia-Pacific economic summit in Beijing. His remarks were published on the Chinese government’s official Weibo microblog.

Mexico last week rescinded the construction deal to a China-led consortium after the uncontested bid to build the high-speed rail prompted an outcry from Mexican lawmakers, who said it was rigged.

The consortium had won a contract to build a rail link between Mexico City and the central city of Queretaro. The group, led by China Railway Construction Corp Ltd was the only bidder for the 210-km (130-mile) line.

Separately, the Mexican government, which has been seeking to deepen its business ties with China, said it had approved the Chinese government’s indirect participation in a Mexican unit of lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

ICBC is China’s largest bank; the Mexican subsidiary is known as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Mexico SA.

(This story corrects spelling of Chinese premier to Li Keqiang; the error also occurred in Update 1)

Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Shao Xiaoyi; Additional reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Nick Macfie and Leslie Adler

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