US-China relations: Premier Li Keqiang tells American firms there is room for cooperation, despite frosty diplomatic ties
- Beijing on Tuesday gathered executives from dozens of American multinational firms for meetings, briefing them on issues ranging from investment to the US-China relationship
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told leaders from companies such as Boeing, Honeywell, Qualcomm, General Motors and Pfizer there were ‘opportunities for cooperation’
China has assured American multinationals at two separate high-level meetings there are opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation, despite the frosty bilateral relationship between Washington and Beijing.
Tuesday’s dialogue with Li was the latest opportunity for US business leaders to share their views on the bilateral relationship and how it could be improved.
At the meeting, which was hosted by former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson, Li said the economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies was mutually beneficial and conducive to the well-being of the two peoples, as well as global stability.
“In the context of multiple shocks last year, the trade volume between the two countries bucked the trend, indicating that there are conditions and opportunities for cooperation between the two sides and that there is demand for economic and trade cooperation necessary for both of us,” Li said.
Last year, total trade between the US and China rose 8.3 per cent from a year earlier to US$586 billion, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. China’s exports to the US increased 7.9 per cent, while imports from the US grew at a faster pace of 9.8 per cent.
“As for the problems that arise from cooperation, we must solve them collaboratively. Decoupling is not good for anyone, and it will hurt the world,” Li said.
“I hope that the two sides will meet each other halfway, promote cooperation by expanding the pie of mutual interests, and maintain the security and stability of the industrial chain and supply chain.”
“During the meeting with Premier Li, we emphasised the importance of fully implementing China’s announced economic reform agenda and fulfilling its phase one [trade deal] commitments, which will demonstrate goodwill to the new US administration,” Allen said.
On the same day, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planning agency, also organised a round table meeting with a group of more than 60 representatives from 47 US companies and lobbying groups, briefing them on China’s new 14th five-year plan for the period 2021-25 and encouraging them to take part in the opening up of the domestic economy.
NDRC deputy director Ning Jizhe said the economic and trade exchanges between industrial and commercial firms in China and the US have formed an unbreakable community of interests over the past four decades.