CCIEE Executive Vice-Chairman Zhang Xiaoqiang Holds Video Conference with Alan Beebe, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China
On October 28, Zhang Xiaoqiang, Executive Vice Chairman and Director of the Executive Board of CCIEE, held a video conference with Alan Beebe, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, discussing such issues as the “2020 White Paper on American Enterprises in China” and Sino-US Economic and Trade Relations. Zhang Huanbo, head of the US and European Institute of CCIEE, Zhang Monan, chief researcher, and Li Feng, head of the Innovation Institute of CCIEE, Guo Tao, Global Vice-President of Qualcomm, Zhao Xueyuan, Vice-President of Government Affairs of NBA Sports Culture Development (Beijing) Co., Ltd., Wang Weijia, Director of Government Affairs of Dell (China) Co., Ltd., and Chen Jianwei, Deputy Director of Government Affairs of Johnson & Johnson (China) Investment Co., Ltd. took part in the online meeting. Xu Chaoyou, Director-General of the Department of External Affairs of CCIEE, presided over the meeting.
Alan Beebe thanked CCIEE and the Chinese governments at all levels for their support on the US anti-pandemic work. He said that China’s GDP growth rate in the third quarter was 4.9%, sending a positive signal to US companies investing in China. Unlike Western media reports, the Chamber of Commerce survey shows that many American companies in China have no plans to leave China. 70% of the interviewed companies have no plans to move their production and supply chains out of China. In contrast, they plan to expand their investment in China. Among the member companies of the Chamber of Commerce, less than 20% are considering transferring production outside China.
This year, the Chamber of Commerce conveyed five recommendations to the U.S. administration and Congress through video and tele-conference. First, any actions of the US government should be based on the implementation of the first phase of the Sino-US economic and trade agreement and lay a good foundation for the second phase of agreement negotiations. Secondly, the United States should strengthen cooperation with other countries to jointly respond to global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirdly, the United States should minimize the scope of the definition of national security to provide as much space for business exchanges as possible. This is true for both Chinese and American companies. Fourthly, immigration and education are one of the important factors in maintaining the leadership of the United States and thus, the United States should continue to implement open immigration and education policies. Finally, the domestic policies of the United States will affect the rebalancing of Sino-US relations, whether in education, research and development, or other industrial policies.
The “2020 White Paper on American Enterprises in China” released by the Chamber of Commerce this year has three main points. First, China should further improve the transparency and fairness of supervision, and increase trust through practical actions. Second, China should promote development through the most-favored-nation policy of competitive neutrality. Third, China should encourage innovation through global cooperation and intellectual property protection, and strengthen the openness of infrastructure investment and the free flow of information.
Zhang Xiaoqiang said that the strong recovery of China’s economy benefits both American and Chinese companies. From January to September this year, China’s domestic demand for electronic information products, new energy vehicles and other products recovered quickly. 260 million notebook computers were produced in China, a year-on-year increase of 5.6%. Companies such as Dell, HP, and Tesla also benefited from it.
The 2020 World Investment Report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development not long ago predicts that the total global foreign direct investment this year will drop by nearly 40% compared with last year, and it will be less than US$1 trillion for the first time since 2005. However, China’s foreign direct investment from January to September reached US$103 billion, an increase of 2.5%. All these show that foreign businessmen have confidence in China’s development prospects and China’s business environment is continuously improving. Recently, the National Development and Reform Commission released the Chinese version of the business environment assessment report. China has made substantial progress in simplifying government agency approvals, improving customs clearance efficiency, and continuously reducing import tariffs on various products. Like foreign companies, Chinese companies are also facing the problem of increasing labor costs. This is a challenge that Chinese and American companies must face, which can only be resolved by technological progress, management innovation, and increased labor productivity.
China follows the trend of digital development, and is committed to building a data security flow framework that is conducive to development while ensuring security and privacy, and launched the “Global Data Security Initiative.” China will strengthen the interpretation and enforcement of laws and regulations and allow the market to play a decisive role in resource allocation. The US always emphasizes fair competition among enterprises, but the US government has tried to suppress China’s private enterprise Huawei under the pretext of so-called “national security”. The US government is destroying the environment of fair competition.
The tension between China and the United States has brought a huge negative impact on bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and damaged the interests of Chinese and American companies. According to a research report issued by the Boston Consulting Group, if the US government prohibits the sale of chips to Chinese companies, it will cause difficulties to Chinese companies, but the annual revenue of the US semiconductor industry will also drop from 230 billion US dollar to 140 billion.
Since the beginning of this year, China has worked hard to implement the first phase of the China-US economic and trade agreement, despite the difficult environment such as falling oil prices and the outbreak of the pandemic. China’s new steps in opening-up the financial sector have benefited many US financial institutions, and intellectual property protection has been further strengthened. According to the latest data released by the US Department of Agriculture, as of September, China’s total imports of agricultural products including corn, soybeans and beef from the United States reached 71% of the agreed target, corn imports reached 7.8 million tons, and beef imports tripled if compared with 2017. In September this year, China imported 3.9 million tons of US crude oil in a single month and has hence become America’s fourth-largest crude oil importer.
China has repeatedly stressed that China will never seek hegemony. Different social systems and civilizations should coexist and learn from each other, and countries should respect each other’s core interests. The strategic misjudgment of the US and the malicious smear of China’s effort in fighting the pandemic by some politicians will hurt the feelings of the Chinese and American people. China and the United States should move towards building a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability. They should strengthen exchanges between governments and private institutions. Since the beginning of this year, CCIEE has conducted two video exchanges with the US Chamber of Commerce. Currently, the two organizations are preparing for an online “second track” dialogue, hoping to enhance the people-to-people bond and offer suggestions for promoting economic and trade cooperation.
Alan Beebe hopes that the two institutions can continue to maintain exchanges, promote cooperation in joint research and other areas, and make more contributions to the development of American companies in China and the establishment of stable and healthy Sino-US relations.
At the end, the business representatives participated in the meeting introduced their development in China.