China's chief banking regulator called for the US to grant two Chinese lenders banking licenses in an interview with the Financial Times. CBRC chairman Liu Mingkang hinted at a connection between greater access for foreign investors in China to China Merchants Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China receiving banking licenses in the US. While Liu denied any direct link between the two issues, he spoke of "bilateral cooperation" between the two countries and said that a refusal or delays by the US to allow Chinese banks to open branches was "no good" and may result in a "backlash" in China. US authorities have maintained that market entry rules are the same for all entrants and cannot be modified in a reciprocal deal with another nation. Bank of China and Bank of Communications are the only Chinese banks with licensed branches in the US.