China’s Xi meets US executives in Beijing as investment wanes

China’s Xi meets US executives in Beijing as investment wanes

/ 05:34 AM March 28, 2024

China’s Xi meets US executives in Beijing as investment wanes

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping —REUTERS

BEIJING—China’s President Xi Jinping met American business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday, as the government tries to woo back foreign investors and international firms seeking reassurance about the impact of new regulations.

Beijing wants to boost growth of the world’s second largest economy after foreign direct investment shrank 8 percent in 2023 amid heightened investor concern over an anti-espionage law, exit bans as well as raids on consultancies and due diligence firms.


Xi’s increasing focus on national security has left many companies uncertain where they might step over the line, even as Chinese leaders make public overtures toward foreign investors.


“China’s development has gone through all sorts of difficulties and challenges to get to where it is today,” Xi said, according to state media.

“In the past, (China) did not collapse because of a ‘China collapse theory’ and it will also not peak now because of a ‘China peak theory,’” he added.

All-male contingent

Stephen Schwarzman, cofounder and CEO of private equity firm Blackstone, Raj Subramaniam, head of American delivery giant FedEx, and Cristiano Amon, the boss of chips manufacturer Qualcomm were part of the around 20-strong all-male US contingent.

The audience with Xi—organized by the National Committee on US-China Relations, the US-China Business Council and the Asia Society think tank—lasted around 90 minutes, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The source, who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media, had no immediate comment on what was discussed and the three organizations did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the meeting.

Taiwan, South China Sea

The United States and China are gradually resuming engagements after relations between the two economic superpowers sank to their lowest in years due to clashes over trade policies, the future of democratically ruled Taiwan and territorial claims in the South China Sea.


The gathering took place in the East Hall of the Great Hall of the People, which is reserved for important functions. Attendees sat in a square formation around a large red, orange and green floral installation, a video released by state media showed.

Commerce minister Wang Wentao, top diplomat Wang Yi and the head of China’s state planner, Zheng Shanjie, sat alongside Xi.

Earlier key meetings

The audience with Xi comes after Chinese Premier Li Qiang did not hold a meeting with visiting foreign CEOs at the China Development Forum in Beijing on March 24-25.

The chance to exchange views with Beijing’s second-ranking leader was a key element of the summit in previous years.

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Wednesday’s meeting followed on from a dinner in November with US executives in San Francisco, where Xi received a standing ovation.

TAGS: business, China, US, Xi

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