American Business Titans Hobnob With China’s Xi As Beijing Works To Reel In Foreign Investment

(Screenshot / YouTube / CCTV News Agency)

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Several top American business executives met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday as Beijing looks to bring in more foreign investment.

The American executives were hosted in Beijing for the China Development Forum that took place earlier in the week, and Xi spoke to them personally on Wednesday and argued that maintaining a bilateral relationship between the U.S. and China could produce “win-win” results, according to Chinese-state media Xinhua News Agency. Beijing hosted the executives as part of a larger effort to boost foreign investment after many companies fled China in 2023 amid a struggling economy and hostility toward foreigners. (RELATED: Ex-Google Engineer Charged With Stealing Trade Secrets While Working For Chinese Companies)

Among the American executives present at the meeting with Xi were Stephen Schwarzman, the founder of the Blackstone group, Mark Carney, chair of Bloomberg, Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm, Rajesh Subramaniam, CEO of FedEx, Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council and Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, according to Xinhua and CNBC. The executives thanked Xi “for taking time to meet them,” Xinhua reported.


“The two countries’ respective success is an opportunity for each other. As long as both sides see each other as partners and show mutual respect, coexist in peace and cooperate for win-win results, China-U.S. relations will get better,” Xi told the American executives, noting that the future relations will depend on building trust and avoiding distractions, according to Xinhua. “As a Chinese saying goes, doing good is as hard as an uphill climb, while a misstep may easily lead to a free fall.”

Xi claimed that China’s economy is stable and told the American business executives that Beijing is implementing several steps to encourage market growth and foreign investment, welcoming them to participate in China’s Belt and Road global infrastructure project. The executives applauded China’s economic growth but noted the need to work jointly to ensure success for both countries, according to Xinhua.

China’s economy struggled to gain traction in 2023, growing by 5.2% by the end of the year and failing to regain growth levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut the country down; China’s stock indexes also had the worst performance of any major global index in 2023. Tens of billions in foreign investment pulled out of China in 2023 as Beijing officials raided offices and arrested employees, often without explanation.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Xi also acknowledged that U.S.-China relations had become strained in recent years, according to Xinhua. Xi told the American executives that his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, California in November created an understanding of what was needed to stabilize relations.

The executives told Xi that his meeting with Biden in November created optimism across “all sectors of American society and the world in U.S.-China relations,” according to Xinhua.

“The relationship cannot go back to the old days, but it can embrace a brighter future,” Xi told the executives.

Qualcomm, Blackstone, FedEx and Bloomberg did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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