In a diplomatic gesture aimed at fostering cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed China’s readiness to be a partner and friend of the United States during a speech to US business leaders on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. His remarks, delivered in San Francisco, come amid growing concerns about China’s economic slowdown and escalating geopolitical tensions.
China Ready to Forge Partnership Amidst Economic Slowdown
President Xi Jinping emphasized the need for collaboration between China and the United States, asserting that viewing each other as main competitors and geopolitical challenges could lead to misguided policies and undesirable outcomes. His remarks echoed a sentiment of cooperation following his talks with U.S. President Joe Biden earlier, where both leaders pledged to reduce tensions and announced agreements, including the reactivation of a high-level military hotline.
Xi’s Pledges Follow Talks with Biden, Highlighting Intent to Reduce Tensions
Xi’s speech in San Francisco was a continuation of efforts to ease tensions between the two nations. The talks with President Biden held at the Filoli Estate, set the tone for constructive engagement. The leaders acknowledged the importance of reducing obstacles and fostering people-to-people interactions, signaling a commitment to build bridges rather than create barriers.
Geopolitical Challenges and Skepticism: The Complex Landscape for U.S.-China Business Relations
Despite President Xi’s reassurances, there is skepticism among U.S. firms, evident in the lowest foreign business confidence in China in years. Concerns over China’s tightening business oversight and bilateral tensions have led some U.S. companies to consider shifting investments away. Xi’s aim to signal China’s openness for business faces challenges as geopolitical tensions, particularly in high-tech industries, persist.
Foreign business confidence, especially among U.S. firms, has waned over the years, marked by a cautious approach even as China attempts to project itself as a welcoming destination. Some U.S. business leaders attended the event in San Francisco, organized by the US-China Business Council and National Committee on US-China Relations, but skepticism prevails, with geopolitical headwinds impacting the perception of doing business in China.
As President Xi extends invitations for exchange programs and cooperation on panda conservation, the complex state of China-U.S. ties is underscored by criticisms from U.S. politicians. Wisconsin Republican Mike Gallagher criticized senior U.S. business leaders for attending an event hosted by the Chinese Communist Party, citing concerns about alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and urging companies to mitigate risks associated with doing business in China.