Global Times Xi’s Footsteps: Xi’s visit to San Francisco injects stability, fosters people exchanges


While serving as then Party chief of Zhengding, North China’s Hebei Province 38 years ago, Xi Jinping made his maiden trip to the US with San Francisco as his first stop, marking his initial steps onto US soil. During this visit, Xi got acquainted with the US and built friendships with Americans that have lasted till today, an enduring testimony of the vitality of bilateral ties.

Decades later, Chinese President Xi once again set foot in San Francisco on Tuesday for a highly anticipated summit with US President Joe Biden and to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting this week. This time, the visit garnered worldwide attention as it is of great significance to both China-US relations and the world. San Francisco has again become an important witness to China-US relations.

In addition to the political aspect of this visit, it is also a reunion among old friends and a way to foster people-to-people exchanges, as the Chinese president pointed out, “the foundation of China-US relations was laid by our peoples.”

Along with a warm welcome at the airport for the Chinese delegation were throngs of bystanders waving Chinese and US flags along the presidential motorcade route, including in the San Francisco’s Chinatown, one of the largest outside Asia, on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, outside Filoli where the two heads of state met, hundreds of overseas Chinese nationals gathered to welcome Xi. Filoli is a secluded estate along Northern California’s coastal range and is about 40 kilometers south of San Francisco.

The Global Times learned that many at the venue came from other US cities thousands of miles away from San Francisco to warmly welcome President Xi. They talked about their excitement in this moment and their hope for the improvement of China-US relations.

A student based in California surnamed Shu told the Global Times that she felt so excited about participating in Xi’s welcome ceremony. And as a Chinese student studying in the US, she hopes to serve as a bridge between China and the US and contribute to the people exchanges between the two countries in the future.

Analysts pointed out that the visit is expected to inject stability into China-US relations and also shows the great importance attached by President Xi to people-to-people exchanges.

“I believe this summit between the heads of China and the US also echoes what President Xi has emphasized – the hope for China-US relations is in the people, and the need to continually expand people-to-people exchanges, including societal interactions with American entrepreneurs,” Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, told the Global Times.

Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times that the high-level interactions between the two major powers can effectively anchor their bilateral relations and steer them in the right direction.

“This can largely contribute to the development, prosperity, and stability of the global economy by providing a strong sense of positive energy and certainty, which is extremely crucial,” he said.

Revisit San Francisco

Forty-two years ago, the first civil aviation route between China and the US was launched, with San Francisco becoming the inaugural destination for Chinese civil aviation.

Four years later, Xi visited the US for the first time and conducted inspections in San Francisco. Like other visitors, he took a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge.

At the Filoli estate on Wednesday, Biden pointed to a photo in his phone with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Biden asked Xi, “Do you know this young man?” “Oh yes,” said President Xi, “this was [me] 38 years ago.”

After the banquet, Xi and Biden took a short walk at the Filoli estate, built in 1917 as a private residence and later became a National Trust for Historic Preservation site.

In June 2013, during his inaugural visit to the US as the Chinese president, Xi discussed with then US president Barack Obama about the fostering of mutual trust and building of a new type of major-country relationship.

Xi’s visit to San Francisco this week is the first in six years, and has been a long time coming. The biggest outcome of this summit is to convey a message of “stability” to the world in the post-pandemic era, Diao told the Global Times.

This stability conveys a signal that there can be ongoing communication across various fields, while simultaneously creating greater possibilities for cooperation in these areas, he noted.

During his meeting with Biden on Wednesday, Xi urged China and the US to jointly advance mutually beneficial cooperation.

“The two countries have broad common interests in a wide range of areas, including traditional areas such as the economy, trade and agriculture, as well as emerging areas such as climate change and artificial intelligence (AI),” he said.

Old friends

At a welcome dinner by friendly organizations in the US on Wednesday, Xi stressed the role of people in China-US relations.

“The foundation of China-US relations was laid by our peoples,” Xi said, stressing that “the door of China-US relations was opened by our peoples,” “the stories of China-US relations are written by our peoples” and “the future of China-US relations will be created by our peoples.”

He also recalled his first interaction with American people. “During my first visit to the US, I stayed at the Dvorchaks in Iowa. I still remember their address – 2911 Bonnie Drive. That was my first face-to-face contact with Americans. The days I spent with them are unforgettable. For me, they represent America.”

At that time, Xi led a five-member agricultural delegation to investigate farm technology in Muscatine, located in the Midwestern state of Iowa, renowned for its significant role in the country’s corn and soybean agricultural production.

Since that time, the friendships between Xi and Dvorchak’s family and other friends in Iowa have continued to flourish. Xi and his old American friends reunited in Iowa after 27 years in 2012 when he visited the US as vice president.

“I thought he was a very nice, focused, polite man,” Eleanor Dvorchak once recounted. Xi was among the first Chinese friends the family got to know.

Gary Dvorchak, the son of Thomas and Eleanor Dvorchak and owner of the Sino-US Friendship House, participated in Wednesday’s events. The family hosted Xi during his 1985 visit to Muscatine. Xi slept in Gary’s the Star Trek-themed bedroom while he was away at university.

Gary Dvorchak told the Global Times that he felt “very excited and honored” to meet Xi on Wednesday.

He said that he planned to turn the house where Xi stayed into a museum, which would be open to the public after renovation in 2024, making it a symbol of China-US friendship.

He said that he strongly echoed Xi’s thoughts on the role of people in China-US relations. He believes Xi’s visit will set a positive tone and facilitate more interactions.

On Wednesday, China announced it would invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs over the next five years in order to expand exchanges between the peoples of China and the US, especially between the youth.

“It is crucial that this summit serves to provide a sober, scientific, and accurate signal for overall political and societal understanding and interpretation of US’ policy toward China today,” Zhu stressed.


Global Times: Financial Street Forum, a bellwether of China’s financial reform, highlights robustness, openness


China’s vibrant financial sector, a solid underpinning of the economic prowess and a crucial part of the country’s reform and opening-up, is set to anchor the world’s second-largest economy toward higher-quality growth and amplify its role as a stabilizer of the global markets amid varied uncertainties, senior officials and prominent domestic and foreign industry leaders told an influential financial forum in Beijing on Monday.

The Financial Street Forum 2022, an annual event widely viewed as the bellwether of China’s financial reform and opening-up, opened in the capital city on Monday and will run through Wednesday.

Coming shortly after the successful conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which stressed high-quality growth and continued opening-up, this year’s event, also marking the 30th anniversary of the construction and development of the capital’s Financial Street, further cements Beijing’s indispensable role of China’s financial sophistication and innovation as well as the nation’s leading role in championing a more open global economy, analysts said.

Rising prominence

The Beijing Financial Street’s rising to prominence in the country’s financial landscape that has earned it the name of the national financial management hub is seen epitomizing the country’s financial reform and innovation at large.

In a speech at the forum on Monday, Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC), the country’s central bank, praised the great achievements in the construction and development of Beijing Financial Street over the past three decades.

“The Financial Street adheres to the road of financial development with Chinese characteristics, and has played an important role in serving the country’s economic construction and social development,” Yi said, adding that the PBC will put into practice the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress to build a modern central banking system, implement prudent monetary policies, serve the real economy, prevent financial risks and deepen financial reforms.

Home to the country’s financial regulators and a rising number of domestic and foreign financial institutions, Beijing has made great progress and contributed a lot to China’s financial industry in recent years. Beijing’s financial sector saw its added value amount to about 287 billion yuan ($40 billion) in 2021, up 160.6 percent compared with 10 years prior.

In particular, the Beijing Financial Street located in Xicheng district, dubbed as the “brain” of China’s finance and sometimes referred to as China’s Wall Street, has contributed nearly 40 percent of the city’s financial added value since 2012.

It hosts the central bank, the securities, banking and insurance regulatory commissions, as well as headquarters of large domestic and foreign financial institutions. Known as the national financial management center, the street serves as a confluence of financial policymaking, supervision and asset management, among other aspects of the capital’s financial functionalities.

There have been a series of major developments in the rise of the Beijing Financial Street in recent years. For example, the Beijing Stock Exchange, which officially opened in November 2021 to support small and medium-sized enterprises, is also located at the block of Financial Street.

In a major move, the Beijing Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday officially launched a benchmark index – the BSE 50, which rose by 2.55 percent on its first day, highlighting investors’ confidence in the performance of the capital’s stock bourse.

The capital where the famed financial street is located is reputed to become an important part of the country’s financial reforms.

“I think it is already [an important part] by many aspects because many decisions are taken in Beijing and those decisions quite often are financial decisions,” Hugues de la Marnierre, Group Country Head for French bank Societe Generale in China, told the Global Times on the sidelines of the forum on Monday.

The country has done a lot in opening its financial sector to overseas institutions and “the trend is good,” he said.

“Precisely the topic we had today was to exchange ideas between us and brainstorm. And I think that’s very good. It’s why I’m delighted to be here because it also gives an international flavor to the discussions.”

Unwavering opening

Apart from the feat of the Beijing Financial Street over the past decades, the forum on Monday, which also marks its 10th anniversary and drew nearly 400 industry heavyweights from around the world, was also focused on China’s financial opening, amid turmoil in global markets.

China has committed to opening wider at a high standard and said it will not change its commitment to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, Chinese officials said.

As part of the unwavering opening push, China will deepen reforms and innovation of the over-the-counter market, known as the New Third Board, as well as push high-quality expansion of Beijing Stock Exchange, Yi Huiman, head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said at the forum on Monday.

In the process of opening to the world, China has coordinated opening-up with security, strengthened risk monitoring on cross-border funds to make it visible and manageable, the CSRC head noted.

As one of the latest moves of the country’s unswerving effort to expand all-around opening-up, China on Friday unveiled cash management rules for overseas institutional investors looking to the country’s bond market. From June, qualified overseas institutional investors were allowed to invest in the exchange bond market either directly or through the connectivity.

China has basically put in place a management system of pre-establishment national treatment together with a negative list in the financial sector. It has completely lifted restrictions on foreign ownership in the banking, securities, fund, futures and life insurance sectors. The country has promoted the connectivity of cross-border securities markets and improved the qualified institutional investor system.

The promulgation and implementation of a series of measures have fulfilled the commitment to a greater financial opening-up.

Despite sluggish global investment sentiment, China remained a strong magnet for foreign companies backed by these endeavors. In the first 10 months of 2022, China saw an increase of 17.4 percent year-on-year in actualized foreign direct investment, totaling $168.34 billion, official data showed.

A global stabilizer

Guided by the 20th CPC National Congress, the 2022 Financial Street Forum will discuss how finance will serve the real economy, industrial chain, green development, digital infrastructure, the country’s development and revitalization, energy security, as well as international cooperation and financial globalization.

On the premise of ensuring energy security, the orderly promotion of green and low-carbon transformation will become an important growth point for high-quality development, and bring unprecedented huge opportunities to the financial sector, so as to realize a virtuous circle between the financial sector and the real economy, according to the forum.

According to the report delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress, China must continue to focus on the real economy in pursuing economic growth.

China’s financial industry has made great contributions to helping real economy transform to higher quality, while supporting the growth of many companies through fundraising.

Analysts also noted that the global economic recovery is fragile and faces serious challenges from high inflation, supply chain disruptions, and energy and food crises. With steady economic growth, wider opening-up of the financial sector and a vibrant market, China has become a rare factor of certainty in the current international environment.

While global financial volatility is increasing, China’s financial market remains dynamic and stable. China has made substantial progress in financial opening-up and integration into the global market, and such a strong momentum is expected to continue in the future, they said.

Besides, China’s rapid and healthy development of the financial industry is also making great contributions to the world’s financial stability, at a time when market volatility is increasing globally as a result of geo-political tensions and irresponsible monetary policies launched by certain countries, experts noted.

This year’s annual conference of the Financial Street Forum focuses on fintech, which is generally based on how the financial sector will serve the real economy, Pan Helin, co-director of the Research Center for Digital Economics and Financial Innovation at Zhejiang University, told the Global Times on Monday.

“The 2022 forum is more pragmatic, touching upon financial innovation, the difficulties and pain points in the practice of financial sector, and discussing feasibility and offering more diversified solutions. In addition, this year’s annual conference also put more emphasis on the collaboration of cross-border financial innovation,” said Pan.

SOURCE Global Times


Global Times editorial: China’s quality development is profoundly smooth, steady


China’s economy is stable and on the rise.

During the ongoing 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), an official in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission said at a press conference that judging from the current situation, China’s economy rebounded significantly in the third quarter, and from a global perspective, China’s economic performance is still remarkable. Although affected by changes in the domestic and external environment, there are still some outstanding contradictions and problems in the current economic operation. However, China has a population of more than 1.4 billion and coupled with basic conditions such as a complete industrial system and a comprehensive industrial chain, “China’s economic stabilization and improvement will be further consolidated.”

We have noticed that the assessments that some well-established international agencies made recently on China’s economy coincide with China’s own remarks. A well-known consulting agency said that most preliminary economic data indicated that China’s economy recovered in the third quarter. Experts from the Economist Intelligence Unit also believe that compared with the economic difficulties of various countries in the world, “China has some unique advantages at the moment,” which enables China’s economy to maintain positive growth even when faced with great internal and external pressure.

If we observe the Chinese economy from the perspective of quality development, we will see the ongoing evolution and the improvement of the Chinese economy. In recent years, although the growth rate of China’s economy has declined a bit compared with some periods in the past, its economic structure has been continuously optimized and its development momentum has been enhancing. In particular, the development speed of high-tech industries is equal to doubling the average development speed of the entire industry. Some major technological fields have made their ways to the global frontier, transformed by innovation-driven factors instead of the factors such as land, capital and labor in the past. At the same time, the energy consumption per unit of GDP has continued to decline. The sky is bluer, the mountains are greener, and the water is clearer. Although facing some temporary challenges and difficulties, China has enhanced its ability to overcome difficulties in its economy.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress stressed that “To build a modern socialist country in all respects, we must, first and foremost, pursue high-quality development.” If the Chinese people are to live a better life and the Chinese nation is to realize its great rejuvenation, maintaining economic growth is of course very necessary. At the same time, the Chinese people have a broader and more comprehensive understanding of growth. And high-quality development is a new concept in which “innovation is the primary driver, coordination is an endogenous trait, eco-friendly growth prevails, openness to the world is the only way, and shared growth is the ultimate goal.” This is also China’s proactive pursuit of following the laws of economic development, adapting to changes in major social contradictions, and maintaining sustainable and sound economic development.

The giant ship of China has always pointed to a determined direction, never going off its course nor turning around. In the new era, the CPC, in accordance with the changes in reality at home and abroad, has taken precautions and foresight to extend and develop the experience summed up in the past decades, and then has established a new development concept and strategic plan, which is coherent and consistent with the past development direction.

Although China is already the second largest economy in the world, its per capita income is still far behind that of developed countries, which means greater economic growth space.

Implementing the spirit of the report to the 20th CPC National Congress, insisting that development is the “first priority” and high-quality development as the “primary task,” we have ample reasons to maintain confidence in the Chinese economy.