xi's moments
Home | Op-Ed Contributors

A new starting point for US, China business

By Harley Seyedin and James Eric Black | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-22 07:07


"Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed, and one country's success is an opportunity for the other." Last week, leaders of two of the world's largest economies took a step forward, something that can be best described in the words US astronaut Neil Armstrong used on July 20, 1969: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

The long-anticipated meeting between the two presidents resulted in commitments to increase bilateral cooperation in several key areas, including counter-narcotics, governance of artificial intelligence, and military affairs. This is the highest-level US-China meeting since the two heads of state met last year in Bali, Indonesia, and is the result of months-long efforts to stabilize ties. The meeting sets "a new starting point" for the relationship, with the hope of more collaboration to come.

We would like to congratulate both leaders for this historic and important meeting, a meeting that is expected to have deep and positive implications for the world of business, as it has reassured the business community and instilled renewed confidence in investors from the United States, China and across the globe.

The meeting has signaled that the US and China have, in large part, committed to resolve their differences and are open to do business. This new mutual understanding opens the door to massive opportunities for both Chinese and US investors who look for sustainable investments. This renewed confidence will benefit Chinese and US citizens alike, as businesses worthy of investors improve societies.

An annual study by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China released earlier this year showed that the 2,300 members of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China — which account for nearly 40 percent of all US-China business, trade and investments — have over $18 billion in their cash reserves to reinvest in China in the next three to five years and expand their existing businesses, keep up with customer demand, and capture additional market share. We believe that with the improvement in relations, many very large projects that have been put on hold will now move forward. Research shows that every $1 billion of US investment in China creates 180 times its value in new GDP. This creates win-win investment opportunities for both US companies as well as their Chinese partners.

A strong relationship between China and the US is central to the world's economic strength and security. "I think it's paramount that you and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader, with no misconceptions or miscommunication," President Biden said. "We also have a responsibility to our people- and the world — to work together when we see it in our interest to do so. And the critical global challenges we face, from climate change to counter-narcotics to artificial intelligence, demand our joint efforts."

The relationship between the two superpowers is more than just a necessity. It is critical to international trade. Cross investments by Chinese and US businesses directly and indirectly support millions of jobs in both the US and China.

President Xi Jinping said China and the US just need to find the right way to get along with each other. "The global economy is recovering, but its momentum remains sluggish; industrial and supply chains are still under the threat of interruption; and protectionism is rising. All these are grave problems," Xi said. "For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option. It is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other. And conflict and confrontation have unbearable consequences for both sides."

China is one of the US' oldest trade partners. The two countries are fortunate to have been so successful in creating such a robust trade relationship, but such a relationship must be based on trust, smart business decisions, and the ability to provide customers in China and in the US with the products they want. The world looks toward this association with envy. Both US citizens and the Chinese need to truly value this relationship. There is no room for further tit-for-tat.

It's time to tear down the tariffs and get back to the business of making money.

The San Francisco meeting may one day be known as the spark that lighted the fire toward better China-US relations. President Xi pointed out that the foundation of US-China relations lies in the people-to-people exchanges. This is true for our leaders as well as our citizens. We must seek out ways of continuing this moment.

We cannot lose sight of a glimmer of hope that resulted from the talks between the two great nations when President Xi announced at a dinner with business leaders that China was "ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation."

He added that China would "do our best to meet the wishes of the Californians so as to deepen the friendly ties" between our two nations, and he even referred to the San Diego Zoo as a potential home for future pandas.

The pandas may be but a small token toward rapprochement, but, nevertheless, the children of America thank you, President Xi.

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

Harley Seyedin is the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, president of Allelon Energy Systems, and winner of the 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Prize, which is awarded by a Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics. James Eric Black is the Schumann Endowed Professor and Chair, Mercer University Department of Journalism and Media Studies, and author of Walt Kelly and Pogo: The Art of the Political Swamp.

If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349