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'Promising future' for China-US business ties

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-16 07:34
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China's modernization will provide more opportunities for businesses from the United States and all other countries, and there is "enormous potential, vast space and a promising future" for greater economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday.

In a congratulatory letter read by Chinese Ambassador to the US Xie Feng at the Jubilee Gala of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) in Washington, Xi said that business cooperation as an important part of China-US relations has brought "many tangible" benefits to the two peoples.

"China will remain firmly committed to advancing high-quality development and high-standard opening-up, and China will remain firmly committed to fostering a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment," Xi said.

The Chinese president noted that the world is undergoing major transformations unseen in a century, and whether China and the US can work hand in hand to tackle these challenges together concerns the interests of the two peoples and the future of humanity.

He recalled that during his meeting with US President Joe Biden in California on Nov 15, they had in-depth discussions on issues vital to China-US relations and reached important common understandings.

China is ready, based on the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, to make concerted efforts with the US to implement the deliverables of the meeting and promote the healthy, stable and sustainable development of bilateral relations, he added.

Xi said he hoped that the USCBC and its member companies will build more bridges for friendly exchanges, cultivate more bonds for practical cooperation, and "help write a new chapter of win-win cooperation in the next 50 years".

Biden also sent a congratulatory letter to the gala to acknowledge the role that the USCBC has played over the half-century in strengthening economic and trade ties between the two countries.

"The world expects the United States and China to work together to address issues like the climate crisis, and the global food and health security crises, which impact lives everywhere, and are too big for any nation to resolve alone," Biden said.

Biden also recalled his summit meeting with Xi last month. He said in the letter that the US is committed to "responsibly managing the competition between our two countries".

US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns told the business leaders at the gala that "we will be very happy to work with all of you toward the goal of normalizing an economic relationship, of making sure that we're doing what we can on both sides to bring it forward".

The most important thing is to have a stable relationship between the two countries to make sure that this long, historic, complicated and vital relationship is always peaceful, and that is what both sides are working for, he added.

Also speaking at the gala, Ambassador Xie said that it is important to honor commitments, and implement the common understandings reached at the San Francisco summit.

"The spirit of honoring contracts is the very foundation of business civilization. Words should not ring hollow, and promises must be kept. Otherwise, one would bust his own credibility and undermine mutual trust," he said.

The envoy said China always keeps its word with real actions.

For example, after the summit, Beijing took a series of practical measures on the economy and trade, counternarcotics and people-to-people exchanges, such as authorizing Mastercard NUCC to conduct bank card-clearing operations in China and approving Broadcom's acquisition of VMware.

"We hope the two sides will work in the same direction, both show good faith and take concrete actions, enhance communication through the restored and new mechanisms in the economy, finance and other areas, remove obstacles to people-to-people exchanges in flights, visas and border entry, and earnestly deliver on each and every of our presidents' important common understandings," he said.

He also cautioned that the stabilizing momentum in China-US relations should not be disrupted by domestic politics.

"The US side used to call for letting the market decide. Why should it reverse course now? One needs to clearly define the parameters of national security, instead of putting everything in the basket of 'national security'," he said.

USCBC President Craig Allen said that the organization, which was founded in 1973, remains committed to advocating for American companies doing business in China, and to expanding the overall bilateral US-China commercial relationship.

"More than a million of our fellow citizens are employed due to trade with China. Each of their jobs is important," Allen said at the gala, the theme of which was "making history together and building for the next 50 years".

He said that China's integration into the global economy is "unequivocally" a positive development that has brought hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

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