SAN FRANCISCO: The future of China-US relations is created by the peoples of the two nations, Chinese President Xi Jinping told a gathering of representatives from different communities in the US on Wednesday evening, noting that China is willing to be “a partner and a friend” of the US.
The remarks were delivered at a welcoming dinner hosted by friendly organizations in the US, including the US-China Business Council and the National Committee on US-China Relations, with the attendance of US top executives such as Tesla’s Elon Musk and Apple’s Tim Cook.
“The foundation of China-US relations was laid by our peoples, … the door of China-US relations was opened by our peoples, … the stories of China-US relations are written by our peoples, … the future of China-US relations will be created by our peoples,” Xi said. “We should build more bridges and pave more roads for people-to-people interactions. We must not erect barriers or create a chilling effect.”
President Xi’s face-to-face talks with the attendees will eliminate some US businesses’ misunderstandings of China’s policy – which has long been “smeared and misinterpreted” by some foreign media, and will also help to rebuild trust and bridge more cooperation that will benefit both economies, observers said.
Moreover, the reception dinner, featuring many from US business communities and coming just hours after Xi’s summit meeting with US President Joe Biden, also indicates that trade cooperation with the US as well as a commitment to opening-up remain one of the most “significant agendas” of the Chinese leadership, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told media.
In his speech, Xi said the most fundamental question shaping US-China relations is whether the countries are rivals or partners. “If we regard each other as the biggest rival, the most significant geopolitical challenge and an ever-pressing threat, it will inevitably lead to wrong policies, wrong actions and wrong results,” Xi told the audience.
“China is willing to be a partner and a friend of the US,” he remarked.
The speech was applauded many times, suggesting the talk is a success, said attendees of the meeting reached by the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that many in the US knows China through the media, but an interaction like this will help them know the true China – friendly and peaceful rather than “hostile.”
A great speech and communication like this is very helpful, Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, who attended the dinner, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
At the moment, the main thing for China-US ties is “don’t be prejudiced, mutual understanding, and co-existence,” Dalio said.
“I hope China and the US can work together for richer prosperity of the world,” Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, who made a trip to China just months ago, said after the dinner, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.
Others on the guest list also included executive chairman of NIKE, CEO of Pfizer, CEO of Qualcomm, chair of Mastercard, among others.
The dinner was very animated among the US company executives. A Bloomberg report said that executives were “scrambling” for seats or to be put on a waiting list for the dinner to meet with the Chinese president, citing people familiar with the situation.
“Some on the waiting list even waiting outside of the dinner venue in hopes of securing a last-minute opportunity to dine with the Chinese president,” said the anonymous official.
The lively atmosphere at the event makes it difficult to imagine that the economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies is currently facing very challenging times. The retaliatory tariffs imposed by the US government against Chinese imports have not been lifted, and there are additional efforts to exert pressure on Chinese high-tech enterprises, citing the so-called national security reasons.
Experts also noted that although cooperation and two-way investment is in the interest of willingness of businesses from both sides, challenges remain serious.
“We are in an era of challenges and changes. But it is also an era of hope. The world needs China and the US to work together for a better future. We, the largest developing country and the largest developed country, must handle our relations well. In a world of changes and chaos, it is ever more important for us to have the mind, assume the vision, shoulder the responsibility, and play the role that come along with our status as major countries,” Xi said in his remarks at the dinner reception.