Chinese President Xi Jinping garnered a standing ovation from a gathering of prominent American business leaders at an exclusive dinner held in San Francisco. This reception followed Xi’s discussions with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. The talks spanned various topics, including military communications, fentanyl trafficking, and the delicate issue of Taiwan. Subsequently, in a private dinner at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency, Xi delivered a speech advocating for enhanced China-U.S. cooperation, earning accolades from hundreds of top-tier American business executives.
During his address, Xi emphasized China’s pursuit of high-quality development and highlighted the United States’ endeavor to revitalize its economy, emphasizing the ample scope for collaboration between the two nations. The distinguished gathering included luminaries such as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Blackrock’s CEO Larry Fink, Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk, and executives from FedEx, Qualcomm, KKR, Blackstone, and Boeing. Tickets for the dinner ranged from $2,000 per person to $40,000 for an opportunity to dine directly with Xi.
Amidst this gathering, managing director for China of McLarty Associates, John L. Holden, expressed the importance of in-person meetings between Americans and Chinese, citing their potential to open doors for possibilities otherwise unattainable. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo underscored the continued interest of attendees in advancing bilateral economic ties between the U.S. and China.
Xi, in his speech, emphasized China’s readiness to foster a partnership and friendship rather than animosity with the U.S. He invoked historical instances of collaboration between the two nations, citing their joint efforts in defeating Japan during World War II. California Governor Gavin Newsom presented Xi with a Golden State Warriors basketball jersey during the dinner, as confirmed by a Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesperson.
Earlier in the day, during his meeting with President Biden, Xi consented to reestablish military communication lines with the U.S., which had been severed since February. Additionally, Xi pledged measures to significantly limit the production of fentanyl precursors in China, a crucial step to curb the trafficking of fentanyl-derived products entering the U.S. via Mexico.
Following their discussions, Biden commended the meeting with Xi but also referred to him as a “dictator” during a subsequent press conference. Despite the positive exchanges, both the White House and China’s foreign ministry remained unresponsive to requests for immediate comments.