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Reporter's log: China-US meeting reopens conversation

By Mingmei Li | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-16 07:48
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A view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, November 11, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures in San Francisco is quite pronounced. During the early winter days, even lingering in the long shadows of towering buildings for a while, I shivered in the cold chilly air. But by stepping forward just a little, I was enveloped in the sunshine again, where I chose to stay longer and feel more comfortable.

While conducting street interviews, I observed that each interviewee seemed keen to focus on one particular detail — the anticipated summit meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden.

No matter what topics will be discussed, what the perspectives of the two countries are, or what their outlooks are, people believe that sitting together and talking shows a willingness to reopen the dialogue, despite the recent tension between China and the US.

"It's fantastic that we should be talking. We are all one large world, and we should be talking to each other and having an open dialogue. It's a great opportunity to do that here," said David Perry, a San Francisco resident working in the IT industry.

Regarding the potential agreements between China and the US, people generally have a reserved outlook, yet there remains a sense of anticipation for the meeting, as it is seen as a new beginning of communication and cooperation between the two sides.

"Hopefully the US government and the Chinese government will work together, combine together, stop arguing, and work together to do many good things. Because without humans, without people, you cannot do anything," said David Ou, a Chinese American business owner in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Ou said that the economies of San Francisco, the US and the world at large were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and people in the Asian American community are experiencing increased misunderstanding because of their identity.

Chinatown is a well-known location, but now fewer tourists are coming since the pandemic.

"People are still working from home. There are many, many empty offices. Many small businesses and restaurants are closed in Chinatown and the financial district," Ou said.

From local business owners' perspectives, San Francisco, a hub of multinational corporations and a center for economic exchanges, has been negatively affected in recent years.

"We need people back to work, we need investment from the Asia-Pacific, so we can develop and build. We have massive opportunities here," John Quackenbush said. He said he hoped Biden and Xi could reach more agreements on economic development and cooperation.

"We people really want to have a better country, in both China and the US," said Amelia Hurtado, a San Francisco resident.

In the APEC forum host city of San Francisco, the dynamics between China and the US resemble the city's changing temperature. If both are willing to take a step forward in mid-November, the cold may dissipate. Similarly, the midst of winter also signals the approaching warmth of spring.

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