US and PRC Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping met with senior business leaders from both countries at a roundtable co-hosted by the US-China Business Council (USCBC), the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the American Chamber of Commerce in China on August 19 in Beijing. Representatives from USCBC member companies—including USCBC Chair and the Coca-Cola Co. Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent and USCBC Board Director and Caterpillar Inc. Group President Richard Lavin—discussed foreign direct investment and market access barriers, cooperative partnerships between Chinese and US companies, intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, and creating jobs in the United States.
Xi stressed the need to reinforce confidence in financial markets and China’s goal of seeking a proper balance between growth and managing inflation. He also stressed China’s commitment to areas such as IPR protection and equal treatment for products under government procurement.
Biden stressed that competition is healthy and that the Obama administration welcomes Chinese direct investment in the United States, which helps create US jobs. Biden said he was encouraged by China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) and the goal of developing a more consumer-based economy, but he still had concerns about market access for US companies.
At a pre-meeting session, US executives provided Biden with an overview of the business environment in China, describing issues such as the draft Catalogue Guiding Foreign Investment in Industry and market access barriers, IPR protection, concerns about a level playing field for Chinese and foreign companies, and China’s forthcoming political transition.