NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Top U.S. companies had the thrill of meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at a dinner in San Francisco on Wednesday. Reuters reported how the excitement was so high that they even stood up and applauded Mr Xi. For Mr. Xi, knowing he has the backing of major companies like Apple (AAPL.O) and BlackRock (BLK.N) is especially important if political tensions between the U.S. and China rise again. must have been reassuring. On the other hand, from the standpoint of US President Biden, such a performance may be difficult to accept.
At a dinner attended by leading executives from American companies, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, along with Chinese government officials and business leaders, Mr. Xi said, “China is He is a partner and friend of the United States.” Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio said he was “thrilled” to have this connection with Mr. Xi. Xi’s speech was interrupted more than 10 times by applause from the audience, Chinese state media reported.
Top American companies are well aware of how to “get along” with Mr. Xi and his policies. Earlier this year, Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk argued that China should be included in discussions about regulating artificial intelligence (AI) and defended China’s stance on the Taiwan issue. He compared the relationship between China and Taiwan to Hawaii in the United States. Late last month, Apple’s Mr. Cook met with China’s Deputy Prime Minister Ding Xuexiang and pledged to support the development of China’s digital economy. From Blackstone (BX.N) CEO Steve Schwartzman to Starbucks (SBUX.O) founder Howard Schultz, a wide range of American billionaires are showing their full support for China.
Mr. Biden responded by praising Mr. Xi in his role as host of the summit, but then returned to his usual more critical tone and once again called Mr. Xi a dictator. Although no such statement has been made by the top executives of American companies, this makes sense to them. Not only is the Chinese market now approaching $20 trillion, but U.S. companies like Tesla and Apple must forge solid relationships with China to maintain their supply chains. Body. Standing ovations at dinner parties are a new and highly offensive method of chasing money.
Mr. Xi will now bring back a souvenir of strong support from top American business leaders, but Mr. Biden will be left with a bad aftertaste. What Mr. Biden is reminded of is the reality that China is economically important and that no matter how strained the U.S.-China relationship becomes, a complete decoupling of China is impossible. While Mr. Biden’s loyalties point in one direction, the same cannot be said for the corporate executives who run the American economy.
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*U.S. President says “Mr. Xi is a dictator” immediately after summit meeting; Chinese side rebels See more
(The author is a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. This column is written based on the author’s personal views.)
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The author is a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. This column is written based on the author’s personal opinion.