Ambassador Xie Feng Calls for Renewed U.S.-China Relations at Forbes China Forum
In a notable keynote address at a New York forum organized by Forbes China, China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Xie Feng, emphasized the necessity of charting a new course in bilateral relations. Amid both positive overtones and direct criticism, Xie addressed the challenges facing the two nations during a critical period. The forum aimed to facilitate communication and cooperation between over 100 U.S.-China business participants.
Navigating Uncertainty: The Need for Collaborative Solutions
Ambassador Xie, who assumed his post this year, urged a fresh perspective on U.S.-China relations. He expressed his hope that the gathering would foster communication bridges and cooperative avenues, uniting both countries towards shared goals. Xie emphasized the urgency of steering the tumultuous global landscape toward stability, citing the common challenges nations face and the importance of avoiding confrontational strategies that could lead to further turmoil.
Sino-U.S. Business Forum: Paving “New Paths Forward”
The 5th U.S.-China Business Forum, themed “New Paths Forward,” convened in-person and virtually. It drew speakers from diverse backgrounds, including former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus. Against the backdrop of strained relations due to geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and investment constraints, the forum sought to explore avenues of cooperation amid existing economic interdependencies.
Striking a Balance: Economic Ties and Diplomatic Strains
Despite recent political frictions, Ambassador Xie underscored the substantial economic ties that link China and the U.S. He noted that China ranks as America’s third-largest trading partner, with extensive economic interdependence built over decades. He highlighted China’s role as a significant market for American agricultural exports and stressed that the two nations are intertwined in economic harmony. Over 70,000 U.S. companies are actively operating in China, generating an annual profit of $50 billion. Leading American brands such as Tesla and Starbucks have made substantial investments in the Chinese market, further cementing the commercial relationship.
A Historical Perspective: Embracing the Common Interest
Xie reflected on his past roles and emphasized the enduring significance of U.S.-China relations. Amid evolving global dynamics, he stressed the unwavering importance of mutual interests and interdependence. Notably, he addressed the shared aspirations for enhanced exchanges and collaborations between the two nations, which continue to resonate with both the people and the international community.
Challenges and Call for Equitable Trade Practices
While highlighting the shared interests, Ambassador Xie criticized certain aspects of the U.S.-China relationship. He questioned the fairness of the relatively high American tariffs on Chinese goods, which contributed to a significant drop in trade between the two nations. Xie pointed out that the average U.S. tariff on Chinese products stands at 19%, compared to China’s average tariff of 7.3% on American goods. Additionally, he expressed concern about the U.S. imposing restrictions on Chinese investments in sectors linked to national security. He labeled this approach as contradictory to the principles of free trade and cautioned against its adverse impact on both American businesses and U.S.-China relations.
Prominent Voices and Shared Goals
The forum featured an array of influential speakers from both nations’ business sectors. Key voices included George Wang of Zhonglu Group, Wei Hu of China General Chamber of Commerce – USA, and Craig Allen of the U.S.-China Business Council. The discussions resonated with the theme of charting new paths while acknowledging the significance of the economic partnership between China and the U.S.
Adapting to Changing Dynamics: Hybrid Forum in Shifting Times
This year’s forum marked the third in-person gathering since 2019, with virtual editions held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The transition to a hybrid model reflected the forum’s adaptability to changing circumstances, mirroring the evolving dynamics in U.S.-China relations.
China’s Ambassador to the U.S Xie Feng’s nuanced keynote, a blend of optimism and critique underscored the need for a recalibrated approach to bilateral relations. Amidst economic interdependencies and political tensions, the forum’s dialogue aimed to illuminate pathways to cooperation and understanding, ultimately shaping the course of the intricate U.S.-China relationship.