Chinese President Xi begins US visit by meeting top business leaders in Seattle
DHARAMSALA, Sep 24: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday assured top US and Chinese business leaders his commitment to make it easier for foreign companies to do business in China.
“We are working to create a new open economic system, push forward reform of foreign investment management and greatly reduce the restrictions on foreign investment,” Xi said at a roundtable meeting of 30 US and Chinese CEOs, including Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Jack Ma of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Later during the day, Xi toured the Boeing production facility in Everett where Boeing announced that Chinese companies have agreed to buy 300 jets worth $38 billion from the US airplane maker. “It also signed an agreement with a Chinese state-owned company to set up a completion centre for Boeing 737 planes,” Chinese State media Xinhua said.
In a wide-ranging speech at a banquet in Seattle on Tuesday, Xi said foreign firms were welcome in China, assured that Beijing would not manipulate its currency to boost exports and denied Beijing engages in hacking.
Addressing concerns over difficulties US firms face operating in China and the Chinese economy which is beginning to slow, raising questions over Chinese government’s capability to manage the slowdown, Xi told business leaders that ensuring robust international trade was a top priority for China.
“China will never close its open door to the outside world,” Mr Xi said in Chinese.
Calling for “more understanding and trust” and “less estrangement and suspicion” between the US and China, Xi said conflict and confrontation between the two countries would lead to disaster for for the world at large.
“Should they enter into conflict and confrontation, it would lead to disaster for both countries and the world at large,” he said.
Addressing recent US allegations that the Chinese state was behind cyber attacks on the US government databases as well as on private firms, Xi said China was “a strong defender of cyber security” as well as a “victim of hacking”.
“The Chinese government will not, in whatever form, engage in commercial thefts or encourage or support such attempts by anyone,” he said and added, “Both commercial cyber theft and hacking against a government’s networks are crimes that must be punished in accordance with law and relevant international treaties.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on his first state visit to the United States at the invitation of President Barack Obama. Besides, at the invitation of Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, Xi Jinping will also attend the series of summits marking the 70th anniversary of the UN at the UN headquarters in New York. Xi will be hosted at the White House for a state dinner on Sep 25 and later on Sep 28 he will deliver a is a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York.