The US-China Business Council (USCBC) and the National Committee on US-China Relations co-hosted a luncheon on February 15 to honor PRC Vice President Xi Jinping. Vice President Xi addressed nearly 600 corporate and policy leaders and 200 members of the press at the luncheon in Washington, DC.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Co. and USCBC chair, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, commented on the past and current state of US-China trade relations in their introductory remarks. Bryson noted that US exports to China have increased by almost 50 percent over the last two years.
In his speech, Xi urged the United States and China to increase trust and understanding and cooperate on global issues that affect both countries. Xi addressed challenges in US-China policy, but stated that despite ups and downs, the US-China relationship has continued moving forward. Xi shared a personal story about an American in Fujian province when Xi was an official there. A PRC foreign ministry official said that this reflected Xi’s desire to incorporate a personal connection into his visit.
CEO Roundtable with Vice Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden
The US-China Business Council, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade co-hosted a CEO roundtable February 14 in Washington, DC.
The roundtable was the second dialogue between the vice presidents and business leaders from both countries, following a similar dialogue in Beijing in August 2011. Vice Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden addressed their commitment to commercial progress in US-China relations. Xi said that the US-China economic relationship is the “ballast and propeller” for the bilateral relationship. Biden commented that “a rising China is a positive development,” and that the relationship between both countries will “fuel economic growth and prosperity.”
While the dialogue reflected shared attitudes about growing investment and trade in both countries, American CEOs at the roundtable reiterated the importance of addressing commercial issues such as foreign investment, intellectual property, visa policies, as well as the need to follow global best practices in areas such as innovation policies.
Experts Discuss Economic and Political Trends at Forecast Conference
The US-China Business Council (USCBC) brought together experts to discuss economic and political trends in China at its Forecast 2012 conference on January 18 in Washington, DC. At the conference, Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), founder of the US-China Working Group in the House of Representatives, outlined the Obama administration’s new “Asia pivot” strategy. Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics detailed the prospects for China’s economy in 2012, including growth risks from a surge of investment in China’s real estate market. Douglas Paal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace described the issues surrounding Chinese domestic politics, highlighting the leadership transition later this year and early 2013. Bob Poole, vice president for China operations at USCBC, elaborated on members’ concerns related to doing business in China, including talent shortages, PRC government policies, and market access restrictions. Richard Wike of the Pew Global Attitudes Project and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post discussed Americans’ views of China ahead of the upcoming US elections.