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President Xi Reconfirms Commitment to Economic Reform

On October 30, a group of American business executives met Chinese President Xi Jinping at an annual gathering of advisers in Beijing’s Tsinghua University Business School.

Credit: Xinhua News Agency

Credit: Xinhua News Agency

Notable chief executives who attended the reception included Tim Cook of Apple, Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

The event was President Xi’s first public appearance with foreign visitors since the 19th Chinese Communist Party’s National Congress last week. The Congress was influential in elevating Xi to the same exalted status enjoyed by Mao Zedong, China’s founding father, and Deng Xiaoping, paramount leader from 1978 to 1989.

According to a summary of his speech issued by the Xinhua news agency, President Xi reiterated his commitment to reform and a more open, globalized economy. “China is advancing comprehensive deepening of reform with unprecedented determination and vigor,” said Xi.

He added that “China has and will continue issuing a series of measures to further open up.” Analysts believe this was a response to increasing concerns from international investors and businesses regarding Xi’s political and economic stance.

The Trump administration has consistently refused to acknowledge China as a market economy. President Xi, however, is willing to work with Trump “to properly solve disputes and contradictions.” President Trump, in his first official trip to Asia, will be visiting Beijing for a series of meeting, including one with Xi himself

Credits: Greg Baker / Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Credits: Greg Baker / Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Xi emphasizes that, ultimately, China’s autonomy remains his top priority. “China will firmly defend its sovereignty, security and developmental interests, and at the same time adhere to a fundamental national policy of opening up,” he states.