- Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla chief Elon Musk and Blackrock’s Steve Schwarzman were among guests Wednesday evening at a reception and dinner in San Francisco honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- According to the place cards, Cook was seated next to Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao.
- The dinner followed Xi’s daylong summit with President Joe Biden, which Biden called “some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.”
Top U.S. business leaders meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco, California, November 15, 2023.
Eamon Javers, CNBC correspondent
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla chief Elon Musk and Blackrock’s Steve Schwarzman were among guests Wednesday evening at a gala reception and dinner in San Francisco honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Hosted by the U.S.-China Business Council and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the dinner followed Xi’s daylong summit with President Joe Biden, which Biden called “some of the most constructive discussions and productive that we have had.
The dinner with Xi was a special moment for the CEOs of America’s biggest companies, a chance to rub shoulders with senior ministers from a country that has done nearly $760 billion in trade with states. -United last year.
On the guest list: Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing, Raj Subramaniam, CEO of FedEx, Ryan McInerney, head of Visa, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Merit Janow, chairman of Mastercard, and Larry Fink of BlackRock.
The Biden administration was represented by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, and Kurt Campbell, a top White House China adviser. San Francisco Mayor London Breed also had a seat at the head table.
According to the place cards, Cook was seated next to Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. Event organizers said Musk attended the VIP reception but did not stay for the dinner.
The number one question for us is: are we adversaries or partners?
President of China
In his remarks before the meal, Raimondo highlighted how many opportunities remain in the U.S.-China economic relationship.
“All of you here tonight remain keenly interested in doing business in China and finding ways to advance our bilateral economic relations,” Raimondo said. “I know, because half of you came to me and told me that.”
Xi delivered the opening speech, his most extensive remarks yet during his visit to the United States. He used the speech to present a vision of U.S.-China relations that differs significantly from Biden’s.
“The number one question for us is: are we adversaries or partners?” » asked Xi.
“Viewing the other side as a primary competitor, the most important geopolitical challenge and a constant threat will only lead to ill-informed policy decisions, misguided actions and undesirable outcomes,” he said. Xi said.
It did not escape the room that Biden has described China in each of these terms in the past.
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Instead of pitting adversaries against each other, Xi emphasized that China wants a partnership with the United States, a “win-win” relationship.
As part of his overall outreach message, Xi announced that China would send pandas to the San Diego Zoo, after three such bears were recently repatriated to China from the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington.
“Pandas have long been messengers of friendship between the Chinese and American people,” he said.
“We stand ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation and do our best to accommodate the wishes of Californians, so as to deepen the friendly ties between our two peoples.”