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Blackstone, Qualcomm CEOs Meet Xi Jinping In Beijing Amid US-China Trade Tensions

Topline
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with a group of American business executives in Beijing on Wednesday as his government attempts to boost overseas investment in the country amid ongoing geopolitical and trade tensions between China and the U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping met with American CEOs on Wednesday. Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
Key Facts
Chipmaker Qualcomm’s boss Cristiano Amon, Blackstone Group chief Stephen Schwarzman, insurer Chubb’s Evan Greenberg and FedEx’s Raj Subramaniam were among the CEOs who attended. According to Chinese state media, Xi welcomed the leaders by talking about the “history of friendly exchanges” between the people of the U.S. and China and expressed hope for more common ground and consensus. Reuters reported that leaders from around 20 companies were invited to the gathering and the meeting with the Chinese President lasted around 90 minutes. The meeting is taking place on the sidelines of the China Development Forum—the country’s flagship annual business gathering—and is reportedly a follow-up of a special dinner meeting Xi had with U.S. executives during his visit to San Francisco last year.
Tangent
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was at the China Development Forum, did not attend Wednesday. Cook visited the country last week and attended the launch of a new flagship Apple store in Shanghai. The visit was seen as part of a public relations charm offensive by the tech giant’s CEO as iPhone sales face a steep slump in China—a critical market for the company. Later during his visit, Cook pledged fresh investment into the country and hailed its “vibrant” and “dynamic” economy.
Big Number
5%. That is China’s annual growth target for the ongoing fiscal year, a goal which analysts and economists say is very ambitious.
Key Background
Late last year, Xi met with President Joe Biden in San Francisco on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the city. The meeting was an effort to simmer down tensions between the two countries and was deemed fruitful. During his visit, Xi attended a special dinner where several top U.S. executives, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Cook, were present. The Chinese leader received a standing ovation at the dinner and said “China is ready to be a partner and friend of the US.” Trade tensions between Beijing and Washington continue to remain and the issue came to the fore earlier this week when China filed a complaint against the U.S. at the World Trade Organization. The complaint alleges the Biden administration’s new rules on electric vehicle subsidies are discriminatory. Beijing has also publicly pushed back against Congress’ legislative efforts to force Beijing-based ByteDance to sell the social media platform TikTok.
Further Reading
Xi Meets US CEOs, Seeking to Boost Confidence in China’s Economy (Bloomberg)

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