China, US business communities increase engagement, posing positive signals for economic ties
Published: Feb 28, 2024 09:21 PM
File photo: China US

File photo: China US

US companies are welcome to continue to invest in China and cultivate the Chinese market to share development opportunities, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Wednesday when meeting a US business delegation in Beijing, stressing that "decoupling" and the "small yard and high fence" approach are not in the fundamental interests of both sides.

During his meeting with the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) delegation led by President and CEO of the Chamber Suzanne P. Clark, Li said that the Chinese and US economies are highly complementary and their interests are deeply integrated. Strengthening economic and trade cooperation is a win-win outcome for both countries.

"China is pursuing Chinese modernization in an all-round way through high-quality development. US companies are welcome to continue to invest in China to share development opportunities. It is hoped that the USCC and entrepreneurs will continue to play the role of a bridge in promoting more communication and mutual understanding," said Li.

Clark said the US-China relationship is extremely important and "decoupling" is not a viable option. The USCC is willing to act as a bridge to deepen US-China economic and trade relations and mutually beneficial cooperation, and promote the steady development of US-China relations.

There are rising signs of improved engagement between the Chinese and US business communities. One of the latest examples is the ongoing visit by the delegation led by USCC at the invitation of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). During the visit from Tuesday to Thursday, the delegation will hold discussions with US enterprises operating in China and relevant industry associations as well as government officials.

The increasing frequency of meetings and visits between Chinese and US officials and business leaders is a sign that the world's two largest economies remain committed to stabilizing their relationship despite lingering differences and tensions, analysts said.

The delegation members included Clark, President and CEO of the USCC and Susan C. Schwab, former US Trade Representative, Yang Fan, a spokesperson for the CCPIT, said on Wednesday during a press conference, adding that the visit aims to promote cooperation between the business communities of the two countries.

"The delegation will learn about the latest developments in China's economy and business environment, which once again proves that the US business community attaches great importance to and continues to pay close attention to the Chinese market," said Yang.

Yang outlined that Ren Hongbin, Chairman of CCPIT, met with Clark on Tuesday at a working luncheon. Ren noted that CCPIT is willing to strengthen communication and contact with the USCC and further deepen practical China-US cooperation in organizing delegation visits, holding exhibitions and forums, and promoting information sharing, in order to inject stability and positive energy into bilateral economic and trade relations.

When meeting Ren, Clark said that China is an extremely important market for US companies. The USCC is willing to continue to play its role in supporting US companies in doing business in China, deepening pragmatic exchanges between the business communities of the two countries, and promoting the sound and steady development of US-China relations, according to Yang.

The USCC is the largest business organization in the US. Its members include global corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, local chambers and industry associations, according to the Chinese Embassy in the US.

The delegation held discussions with US enterprises operating in China and relevant industry associations, said Yang.

Prior to the delegation's visit, trade chiefs of the two countries met on the sidelines of the ongoing WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. The third China-US Economic Working Group meeting was held in Beijing in early February. Chinese and US officials held the third meeting of the Financial Working Group in Beijing on January 18 and 19. More high-level US officials, including US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, are expected to visit China later this year.

China and the US are continuing to step up engagement, which analysts saidwould provide much-needed confidence for businesses in both countries and the international community at a time of increasing global challenges.

The economic cooperation between China and the US is not only a matter of the two sides but also bears on the stability and prosperity of the global economy. Recent activities send a positive signal of stable relations and help allay the growing concerns of businesses and governments around the world, Wang Peng, an associate research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Therefore, the two sides should continue to strengthen communication and cooperation to jointly cope with global challenges and promote the sustainable development of the global economy," said Wang.

The significance of such exchanges is to achieve mutual assurance of win-win cooperation, thus making the supply chain more stable, efficient and economically viable, and strengthening commercial trust, Hu Qimu, deputy secretary-general of the digital-real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"China-US economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial. This is why the US wants to engage with China, even as it focuses on competing with China and in some cases even containing it," said Hu.

However, to maintain this stable trend, the US must match its words with deeds, commit to not seeking to contain China, abandon its Cold War mentality, and focus on win-win cooperation, Hu warned.

At present, the US has not changed its positioning of China as a "strategic competitor."