US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has called on China to open its economy to international investment and respect intellectual property laws, the Washington Post reported. Locke’s speech followed similar comments by US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and represents a continued attempt by US officials to broaden the focus of discussions during the upcoming Washington visit of President Hu Jintao beyond currency issues. While Locke praised China for growth and increasing openness, he criticized the country’s failure to adhere to previous agreements. He also said foreign investment in China was discouraged by lax intellectual property protection and enforcement. Trade figures released Thursday showed the US deficit with China grew by 0.5% in November to US$25.6 billion.