The House Select Committee has reported on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that on Wednesday, several of the most powerful and influential business leaders in the United States hosted a lavish dinner in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The CEOs of Apple (Tim Cook), Blackstone (Stephen Schwarzman), and BlackRock (Larry Fink) all dined together in San Francisco. The group reported that each ticket to sit with Xi cost $40,000.
Keep in mind President Joe Biden referred to Xi as a “dictator” on Wednesday, and the United States government has branded China’s treatment of the Uyghur people (a Muslim minority) a “genocide.”
CNBC said the dinner was hosted by the U.S.-China Business Council and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations after Biden met with Xi. According to statements made to CNBC by guests, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was present at a VIP reception but skipped the accompanying dinner.
Merit Janow, the non-executive Chairman of Mastercard, Stanley Deal, Boeing Executive Vice President, Amway CEO Milind Pant, and Honeywell Executive Chairman Darius Adamczyk were also on the committee’s guest list.
CNBC reports that before dinner, Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo told attendees that “all of you here tonight are intensely motivated to conduct business in China and to find ways to enhance our bilateral economic relationship.” That’s because half of you have visited me just to tell me that.
CNBC reports that place cards showed Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting close to Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. According to Reuters, in October, Cook met with Wentao in Beijing to discuss the growth of his firm in China and bilateral ties.
CNBC asked Xi during his keynote speech, “Are we rivals or allies?”
“If one perceives the other side as a key rival, the most serious geopolitical issue, and a pacing danger, it would only lead to incorrect decisions, wrong behavior, and bad effects,” Xi continued.