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SwedCham China Insights for the Week of November 13 - November 17 , 2023
Top news of the week:
China moves to diversify tourism products
November 13, 2023
China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has issued a plan to boost domestic tourism with a focus on offering a more diversified array of tourism products. The plan also aims to improve the consumption experience during travels, deliver better public services, roll out virtual museum tours and strengthen market regulation.
APEC Ministerial Meeting kicks off with focus on resilience, sustainability
November 14, 2023.
The 2023 APEC Ministerial Meeting kicked off on November 14 with a focus on creating a resilient and sustainable future.
China’s cross-border capital flows more balanced in October
November 15, 2023
China’s cross-border capital flows became more balanced in October, with net inflows under trade in goods up 52 percent from September, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed.
President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Joe Biden
November 16, 2023
On November 15 local time, President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden held a summit meeting at Filoli Estate, San Francisco. The two heads of state had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on strategic and overarching issues critical to the direction of China-U.S. relations and on major issues affecting world peace and development.
Chinese commerce minister holds talks with U.S. counterpart
November 17, 2023
China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao held talks with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo after the Biden-Xi talks, on the countries’ commercial relationship. The two sides discussed progress made under the commercial issues working group and planned to hold an in-person meeting in early 2024.
Insight of the week:
President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping on November 15 (local time) held their first face-face meeting in more than a year amid tensions in the U.S.-China relationship. Biden and Xi met for about four hours on the outskirts of San Francisco to discuss issues that have strained U.S.-Chinese relations. They agreed to open a presidential hotline, resume military-to-military communications, and work to curb fentanyl production, showing tangible progress in their talks. They had a lengthy conversation about Taiwan, the most sensitive topic in the relationship. Xi told his American counterpart that he should “stop arming Taiwan” and that China’s reunification with the island was “unstoppable”, according to China’s foreign ministry. Biden said he reaffirmed the United States’ “One China” policy and its belief that any resolution must be peaceful. Biden reiterated, however, that the US would continue to arm Taiwan as a deterrent. Biden raised areas where Washington has concerns, including detained U.S. citizens, “human rights” in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong SAR and Beijing’s “aggressive activities” in the South China Sea. The two leaders also discussed the Israel-Hamas war and the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Other takeaways from their meeting included conducting China-US government talks on AI and increasing scheduled passenger flights early next year. Beijing’s report of the meeting emphasized the need for more cooperation, dialogue and respect. China and the United States should set an example for other countries, Xi told Biden, according to Chinese media, and promote cooperation on trade, agriculture, climate change and artificial intelligence. Biden and Xi came into the talks looking to smooth over a rocky period in relations that took a turn for the worse after a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon transited the United States and was shot down by a U.S. fighter jet in February 2023. The recent meetings between top officials from the US and China have laid the groundwork for Xi and Biden’s talks and shown positive signs of enhancing communication between the two countries.
In the Welcome Dinner speech delivered just a few hours after the talks with Biden, Xi told American executives that China is ready to be a partner and friend of the United States, and there is plenty of room for bilateral cooperation, showing Bejing’s attempt to foster relations with the US and reassure global business.
On November 16 (local time), Xi also held talks with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Xi and Japan’s leader agreed to pursue mutually beneficial relations in their first face-to-face talks in a year, emphasizing shared economic interests amid a series of diplomatic disputes. They discussed thorny issues such as China’s ban on Japanese seafood and the case of a Japanese businessman detained in China on suspicion of espionage. They also pledged to hold high-level dialogue on economic issues and welcomed the launch of a framework to discuss export controls.
In summary, President Xi Jinping’s trip to the US this time could be seen as a “reconciliation trip”, demonstrating Beijing’s attempt to mend relations and seek greater cooperation with the US and Japan.