Wednesday August 12, 2020


September 22, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping with USCPF Vice President Ernestine Wang. Photo by Alabastro Photography.

Chinese President Xi Jinping with USCPF Vice President Ernestine Wang. Photo by Alabastro Photography.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the U.S. on September 22 and began his strip in Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, in cooperation with event co-hosts the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the U.S.-China Business Council, and the Washington State Welcoming Committee, welcomed the Chinese president to the U.S. with a banquet dinner and reception.

The event, hosted on Xi’s first night in the U.S., was attended by over 750 guests, including business representatives, government officials, scholars, and think tanks. Key American guests included Bill Gates, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, Hershey CEO John Bilbrey, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, California Governor Jerry Brown, and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen.

The dinner program included remarks from Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, U.S.-China Business Council Chair Mark Fields, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Prtizker, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Chair Carla Hills, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. Former Washington State governor and former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke gave the champagne toast as well as a post-dinner toast with Seattle’s Starbucks coffee. Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor during the Nixon administration, introduced Chinese President Xi Jinping. A full dinner program can be found here.

During the dinner, President Xi delivered his only public policy address during his trip to the U.S.  He spoke of the many changes and advancements China has gone through in recent years and the continued progress that still needs to be made, predicted positive future development in China’s economy, the necessity of China’s ongoing reforms, and its commitment to encouraging foreign investment and business ties. He also touched on China’s policies on cybersecurity, foreign non-profits, fighting corruption, and goals for China’s “peaceful development.”

Xi Jinping further emphasized China’s role in the international community and the importance of improving U.S.-China bilateral ties. He discussed U.S.-China “win-win cooperation,” joint efforts on the climate change and Iran, the Bilateral Investment Treaty currently being negotiated, effectively handling differences and disagreements, and fostering people-to-people ties between the two countries.

During his speech, President Xi also made references to American popular culture, praised the work of American authors, especially Ernest Hemingway, and paid tribute to the work of organizations striving to foster better U.S.-China relations, including a reference to the U.S.-China Policy Foundation. The full text of his speech can be found here.

The U.S.-China Policy Foundation was honored to be a part of this special event. Over the years, USCPF has been involved in welcome banquets for many Chinese presidents and other leaders, including during Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Washington, DC as vice president. Photos from the dinner can be viewed here.