Chinese premier meets with US business group in Beijing as part of charm offensive

Chinese premier meets with US business group in Beijing as part of charm offensive

Chinese premier meets with US business group in Beijing as part of charm offensive

Washington’s “small yard, high fence” approach to restrict economic engagement in certain high tech sectors with China is not in the fundamental interests of either side, Chinese Premier Li Qiang told a US business group in Beijing on Wednesday.

The US strategy and any sort of decoupling will “only bring huge losses to businesses and economy of the two countries, and even to global development,” Li told the delegation led by Suzanne Clark, the chief executive of the influential US Chamber of Commerce, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The world’s two largest economies are highly complementary with deeply integrated interests, and they should be partners rather than rivals, Li said.

“Both sides benefit from each other’s development, and strengthening economic and trade cooperation is a win-win to both countries.”

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‘Door to China-US relations will not be closed again’: Xi Jinping offers assurances to US businesses

‘Door to China-US relations will not be closed again’: Xi Jinping offers assurances to US businesses

Washington officials from President Joe Biden on down have said the US is not seeking to decouple its economy from China or limit its growth, but “small yard, high fence” has been the key to the administration’s efforts to restrain China’s development on certain technologies with significant military potential.

The intent is to protect US national security while limiting the degree to which normal economic ties are disrupted. Measures have included sweeping export bans on the sale of advanced semiconductors to Chinese entities, and restricting US venture capital and private equity investments in semiconductor, quantum computing and AI companies in the country.

In the absence of a sustained post-pandemic recovery exacerbated by a property market downturn and heightening geopolitical tensions, swooning Chinese stock markets and investor outflows have prompted Beijing to launch a charm offensive to woo foreign capital back.

During the meeting, Li said that China’s economy has huge demand potential in advanced manufacturing, urbanisation, consumption upgrading, and green energy transformation, and that the country welcomes American firms to continue investing in China and deepening their presence there.

Beijing slams ‘smear tactics’ in US assessment of China’s ‘predatory’ economy

“China will open its door wider and wider,” Li reiterated on Wednesday, adding that Beijing would improve the business environment to provide more support and convenience for foreign businesses to invest in China.

“It is hoped that the US Chamber of Commerce and its entrepreneurs will continue to serve as a bridge in promoting communication and mutual understanding between the two countries,” Li said.

The downward spiral in US-China relations have paused after Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California in November, which has been followed by increasing official exchanges in the months since.

Clark is leading a delegation of former US government officials to Beijing this week, according to the chamber. It is the largest business lobbying group in the US and represents manufacturing giants such as Ford Motor Company and tech industry leaders including IBM and Microsoft.

US Chamber of Commerce chief executive Suzanne Clark with Li at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

She said that the chamber was willing to act as a bridge, conduct candid and constructive communication and exchanges with the Chinese side, making efforts to deepen economic and trade relations and mutually beneficial cooperation, and promote the steady development of bilateral relations, according to Xinhua.

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