China's President Xi Jinping sends letter to Starbucks tycoon to encourage trade | Business Upturn

China’s President Xi Jinping sends letter to Starbucks tycoon to encourage trade


In a rare missive to a foreign business figure, China’s President Xi Jinping asked former Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to help facilitate trade between Washington and Beijing, state media announced on Thursday.

The reason why the letter was publicized by official media was not immediately clear, but it comes as ties between the superpowers have reached a nadir with bitter conflicts over trade, technology, protection and rights.

Under Trump’s Administration, US-China relations have become increasingly complicated. In Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Beijing and Washington have also sparred over responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s human rights record. But China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, called on both sides to “restart the dialogue” and “rebuild mutual trust” with President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming US administration.

Xi wrote in his letter that China will provide a broader space for companies from all over the world, including Starbucks and other American companies, to develop in the country.

Starbucks, a ubiquitous sight in major Chinese cities, claims it has established more than 4,700 coffee shops nationwide since 1999.

Schultz, who stepped down as the chain’s chairman in 2018 yet maintains the honorary title, had previously congratulated Xi on China’s transformation to a “moderately prosperous society,” Xinhua said.