As Joe Biden administration prepares to take over Washington, China’s President Xi Jinping recently called on Starbucks Corp. to help promote trade between US and Beijing. While responding to an earlier message from former Starbuck chairman Howard Schultz, Xi urged the multi-billionaire to continue to play an active role in promoting US-China economic and trade cooperation. He also said that China has emerged on a new journey of comprehensively building a modern socialist country, which will provide broader space for companies from across the globe.
According to Bloomberg, Xi replied to Schultz in a letter that was dated January 6 and published Thursday by the Xinhua News Agency. It is still not clear why the letter was published by the state media, but it comes amid tense relations between the two superpowers. It is worth noting that Starbucks has reportedly opened over 4,700 coffee shops across the country since 1999.
The Chinese leader hopes that Starbucks will make active efforts to promote China-US trade cooperation and the development of bilateral relations. In the letter, Xi wrote that China will provide a broader space for companies from all over the world, including Starbucks and other American companies, to develop the country. Schultz’s letter, on the other hand, had congratulated Beijing on the near completion of the plan to build a “moderately prosperous society”. Chairman Emeritus had expressed respect for the Chinese people and Chinese culture. Schultz had previously said that China was a competitor of the US rather than an enemy.
Meanwhile, US-China ties have grown increasingly strained under the Trump administration. The two countries have sparred over the blame for the coronavirus pandemic and China’s human rights records in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The Trump administration has also blocked imports from individual companies linked to forced labour in Xinjiang. It has imposed travel bans and other sanctions on Communist Part officials with prominent roles in the campaign.
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi has, however, called for both sides to “restart dialogue” and “rebuild mutual trust” with the incoming US administration of President-elect Joe Biden. Wang has urged the incoming President to have the “right perception” of China and cooperate with Beijing. He expressed Beijing’s anger over the China policies taken in recent years by Washington and appealed to the Biden administration, which assumes control on January 20, to manage the two nations’ differences constructively.