Chinese Premier tells US business leaders China welcomes American firms
Published: Apr 13, 2021 11:29 PM
In a screenshot from Chinese government's website, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds virtual dialogue with US business leaders on Tuesday in Beijing. Photo: GT

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a virtual dialogue with US business leaders on Tuesday in Beijing. Photo: screenshot from the Chinese government's website

During a virtual dialogue with US business leaders on Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged the US and China to avoid confrontation and expand pragmatic cooperation, warning that "decoupling" will only harm both sides and the world.

During the meeting with executives of over 20 US companies, including former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Li stressed that China-US cooperation benefits both, while confrontation hurts all, according to a statement posted on the Chinese government's website.

The meeting came as China-US bilateral relations have continued to face turbulence under US President Joe Biden, who is largely continuing the US' strategy to contain China's rise. However, despite the tense diplomatic relationship, bilateral trade has continued to increase. 

At the meeting, Li pointed out that rising bilateral trade in 2020 against many difficulties has shown that conditions and opportunities exist for trade cooperation, which is necessary for both sides.

In the first quarter of 2021, China-US bilateral trade jumped 61.3 percent year-on-year, the fastest growth pace in China's trade with major trading partners, according to Chinese official data on Tuesday. 

The Chinese Premier said that China and the US should meet each other halfway to promote cooperation to safeguard the security of industrial and supply chains.

Li also pledged that China will continue to open up its market and make China an important destination for foreign investments.

 China will create a market environment in which domestic and foreign companies are treated equally and compete fairly, Li said, adding that enterprises from the US and all over the world are welcome to actively participate in China's reform, opening-up and modernization process to better achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

 The US business leaders at the meeting also called for efforts to avoid confrontation and bring the China-US relationship back on track, according to the statement.