US CEOs Extend China Stay on Last-Minute Invite to Meet Xi

Published March 25, 2024
  • Bosses including Pfizer’s Bourla in China for business forum
  • Possible Xi meeting follows his November APEC dinner with CEOs

Some US executives in Beijing for a business summit are rejigging their long-planned schedules after receiving an invite to a Wednesday meeting with a top Chinese leader – widely expected to be President Xi Jinping.

There’s a tacit understanding that the meeting will be with Xi, though his name doesn’t appear on written invitations, according to three people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential matters. A similar procedure was followed in November, when Xi attended a dinner with US business leaders during a San Francisco summit.

China is seeking to shore up confidence amid a slowdown in foreign investment, which slumped to a 30-year low last year by one measure. Sentiment has been hit by political tensions with the US, following years of pandemic restrictions and tighter national security controls.

Inbound Investment Into China Falls Again | FDI falls for a second month in February after 8% drop last year

Inbound Investment Into China Falls Again | FDI falls for a second month in February after 8% drop last year© Source: China’s Ministry of Commerce

Late on Friday, China relaxed its rules governing cross-border data flows. The move was seen as a response to complaints by foreign businesses that the restrictions were disruptive.

“The Chinese government encourages and supports the business community and other sectors in China and the US to conduct friendly exchanges and cooperation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lin Jian during a regular press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, adding he had no information to offer on the specific meeting.



RELATED: Xi Jinping’s Balancing Acts: Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain?

From the economy to diplomacy and internal politics, Xi appears to have simply kicked policy problems down the road.


Published March 23, 2024

While predicting China’s trajectory has always been fraught with danger, there are a few trend lines that provide some guidance.

These trend lines stem from what the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Neil Thomas has astutely framed as Xi Jinping’s three “balancing acts”: balancing economic growth with security, balancing diplomatic “struggle” against the United States with avoiding economic “decoupling” from the West, and balancing “competition between different sub-factions in elite politics.”

Xi’s approach to each of these balancing acts suggest that while he may have achieved short-term gains in each, this success may simply prove to have kicked outstanding policy problems further down the road.

Xi’s ability to manage elite politics, for instance, appears on first blush to be relatively assured due to his success at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October 2022 in stacking the party’s peak decision-making bodies (i.e. the 24-member Politburo and seven-member Politburo Standing Committee) with loyalists and establishing himself as both the “core” of the Party and its ideological fountainhead.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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