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International officials expect Xi-Biden meeting to find right path for improving China-U.S. ties


The 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting is about to commence in San Francisco. The upcoming meeting between the Chinese and the U.S. heads of state is eagerly anticipated.

Officials from heavyweight international organizations and the United States agree that sound China-U.S. relations are particularly important nowadays and that the bilateral conversation is set to bring optimism and opportunities to the world.

Xi-Biden meeting expected to bring 'a strong dose of optimism'

Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, said, "The fact that the two important biggest economies are here to have the very important conversation, a crucial conversation, at this time really opens the door to other opportunities for the world."

"It brings a strong dose of optimism as the year comes to a close and the start of the next year," she said.

She added that countries should look at more holistic benefits that can spur global growth from a broader perspective.

In an exclusive interview with CGTN, former Director-General of the WTO Roberto Azevedo said he hopes the U.S. and China can find a way to move forward through the meeting, as a more positive environment between the two superpowers is "absolutely fundamental for the world to feel safer, to feel that we are on the right path."

He suggested that both sides be open to talking and listening to something they don't want to hear.

Gita Gopinath, the first deputy managing director of IMF, told CGTN that it's critical for China and the U.S. and for the global economy to have close relations and good working relations. "There has to be a way for both countries to be able to work together," she said.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told CGTN in an interview that "decoupling" between the U.S. and China is a "bad idea," adding that if they do so, whatever little trust left will also begin to vanish.

Noting China has emerged as a significant player and the world's second-largest economy, Chu said the U.S., China and Europe need to work closely to achieve zero carbon.

New starting point for people-to-people exchanges

The Philadelphia Orchestra is back in China 50 years after its historic trip in 1973 when it became the first American orchestra to visit the country.

From November 9 to 18, it is performing concerts and organizing residency activities in Beijing, Tianjin, Suzhou and Shanghai.

In an exclusive interview with CGTN, Tristan Rais-Sherman, the assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, said, "We are really excited to celebrate this historic event and this historic moment."

The assistant conductor said he hoped the visit could become a good starting point and that other American orchestras will continue the comeback to play for the Chinese audience.

After the Philadelphia Orchestra concert in Beijing, U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns told CGTN that music unites the two countries. "In 1973, the orchestra came here and brought the two countries together; now we are in another time, where the two countries are reconnecting, our leaders are, our governments are, and our people are."

China and the U.S. also saw regular direct passenger flights increase again starting November 9, bringing more people-to-people exchanges between both countries. 

San Francisco, the host city of the upcoming APEC meeting, is well-prepared to draw global attention with its deep cultural and economic ties to the Asia-Pacific region, which could be seen from the historic Chinatown and the fact that a third of its residents have Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry. 

Describing the city as a gateway to the Asia Pacific, London Breed, the 45th Mayor of San Francisco, said the city looks forward to building bridges and a better relationship. Breed added that she couldn't wait to see Chinese tourists.

With lanterns always hanging in the city's Chinatown throughout the year, Breed said the city is ensuring they "shine brighter in the APEC."

(Cover: People walk past APEC meeting signage displayed at Moscone North in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 13, 2023. /CFP)

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