American companies’ commitment to the China market is unlikely to be reversed after a high-level warning that relations between the two countries had entered new territory after a prolonged period of geopolitical tension, said a former American diplomat in Greater China. In an interview.
“Most American companies are successful in China and see that success as an important factor in their global performance,” Kenneth Jarrett, currently a senior advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group, said Monday. “They are not looking to get out of the China market.”
Kurt Campbell, the White House’s top leader on Asian politics, issued a cautious note on ties between the two countries in an online discussion hosted by Stanford University on May 26. “The period that was widely described as engagement” with China, Campbell said, “has come to an end.”
“The dominant paradigm will be competition,” Campbell said. “Our goal is to make this a stable and peaceful competition.”
However, that leaves room for cooperation between the two sides, said Jarrett, whose previous positions also include the president of the US Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the president of Greater China, APCO Worldwide.
“It’s important to understand that even within a general dynamic of competition, there is still room for cooperation,” Jarrett said. “The trade interaction between the United States and China is a beneficial form of cooperation. This is how American companies view their activity in China, and I don’t expect that perspective to change.
In an annual White Paper earlier this month, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said that “China is a priority market for more than two-thirds of our members, and our surveys indicate that nearly 85% are not considering relocating manufacturing. or the supply “.
“While we are likely to see continued restrictions in some emerging and advanced technology areas, most of the US business in China will continue as before,” Jarrett said.
American companies attracted to China in part because of its economic growth. After contracting 6.8% in the first quarter of last year during the peak impact of the pandemic, China’s GDP was one of the few that expanded throughout 2020, gaining 2.3% throughout the year. It grew by 18.3% compared to the previous year in the first quarter of 2021, one of the best performances of an economy that now stands as the second largest in the world.
American companies with a substantial presence in China include Starbucks, Apple, and Tesla.
Jarrett will speak at the 2021 US-China Business Forum, an online discussion hosted by Forbes China, on Aug. 27.
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