On June 19, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with a small group of US business leaders in Beijing to discuss the role private companies can play in supporting US-China relations. AmCham China Chairman Colm Rafferty and Vice Chair Roberta Lipson attended the productive gathering on behalf of AmCham China.
AmCham China raised issues reported by member companies in our recent Flash Survey, the Business Climate Survey, and the 25th Annual edition of the American Business in China White Paper. In particular, Rafferty stressed the need to keep commercial lanes open and work to safeguard American technological development and intellectual property, coordinate with allies and partners to establish the rules of the 21st century economy, focus on rebuilding mechanisms for US-China communication, and restart and encourage valuable people-to-people exchanges.
Blinken spent two days in Beijing, where he also met with senior Chinese government officials, including the President, before continuing his overseas trip with a visit to the UK.
“It’s encouraging to have the US Secretary of State here on the ground in Beijing so soon after the Chinese Commerce Minister’s trip to the US, in a clear sign that both sides are serious about continuing high-level engagement.
Our businesses understand the irreplaceable value of in-person engagement, especially when tackling challenging issues. We’ve been continuously advocating for constructive, results-oriented engagement. Most of the issues discussed over the past couple of days have been ones that AmCham China has been raising on behalf of our members. In the short term, we are optimistic that progress will be made to deepen high-level communication between the two governments, and to enhance people-to-people and educational exchanges.
Longer term, we need to see real results. But rebuilding the relationship is a process: Rome wasn’t built in a day, so, as far as we’re concerned, these are all steps in the right direction.”
– AmCham China Chairman Colm Rafferty