Convince Chinese To Invest Quickly

Opportunity is knocking very loudly in West Virginia. Let’s be certain the door is wide open and the welcome mat is out.

We refer to the promise Chinese officials have made to invest more than $83 billion in our state during the next decade. Most of the money is destined for energy-related projects, including a gas-fired power plant in Brooke County.

Details and a schedule for pouring the money into our state have been difficult to come by, however. Gov. Jim Justice remains exceedingly optimistic, pointing out that representatives from China have visited the state to discuss their plan.

Ten years is a long time, however. Things can change. The current warm diplomatic relations between our two countries — on the surface, at least — could change. The Chinese could change their minds.

For that reason and because of the obvious, that the state’s economy needs help right now, Justice, legislators and other state officials should do all in their power to accelerate the Chinese investment schedule.

That may mean making infrastructure improvements at sites being considered for Chinese investment. It may be targeted tax incentives. It may mean doing all we can to ingratiate ourselves to officials of the government and Chinese businesses involved in the proposal.

Whatever it takes — within reason — should be done to get more of that $83 billion sooner than the Chinese had planned.