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Tide turning in the China-U.S. relationship

Reality Check

Editor's note: It's been nearly 10 days since the China-U.S. leaders' summit in San Francisco. What has changed? Take a look at this episode of Reality Check and find out how the new phase of China-U.S. cooperation is taking shape.

If you have a credit card from China, please take it out of your wallet and have a quick look at it. Some of you would find this mark, it's UnionPay. And for some of you, this. It's Mastercard. It mostly appears on cards used for international travel where the payment process is different. And sometimes it appears alongside UnionPay.

Mastercard is a U.S. credit giant. It is the second overseas bank card got approval for clearing operation in China.

The Chinese Central Bank announced on November 19 that it and the National Financial Regulatory Administration have approved an application by Mastercard's Chinese joint venture to conduct bank card clearing operations in the country. Simply put, Mastercard will be able to start issuing yuan-denominated bank cards under its own brand.

According to reports, Chinese Mastercard holders will be able to use the card directly in over 100 million businesses around the world. The move is conducive to building a stable bank card clearing market structure in China with effective competition and deepening the supply-side structural reform of the payment industry.

Ann Cairns, the executive vice chair at Mastercard, said in an interview that "we bring three things, really, to the market. We bring our innovation. We also bring global connectivity. And we bring the opportunity for partnerships, partnerships with local players in the Chinese market to actually bring something new to the market."

Good news for the financial industry, right? Well, it isn't the only industry getting it.

Chinese airlines have resumed a number of direct flights between Chinese and U.S. cities. These include Air China's flight CA817 traveling from Beijing to Washington D.C. Broadcom got the approval it needed from the anti-trust regulator in China.

The summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden took place on November 15. These are the changes that have happened since.

High-standard opening up requires China's engagement with the world. And you can't get around the U.S. if you are to do so. We see here, from finance, to aviation or tourism, to individual business, China has demonstrated the willingness to fulfill and act fast on its promises.

Ben Harburg, member of the Board of Directors from the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, said, "I think that China, to its credit, has been fairly good about taking on board criticism, constructive criticism, when it comes to improvements around the economy and infrastructure around it."

Stephen Orlins, president of National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, said, "it's important that you take little steps to rebuild trust, rebuild the belief in the people of China and the people of the United States that there are benefits from China-U.S. relationship."

We've been taking many significant steps in the less than 10 days since the summit. Fixing what's broken requires more effort, more initiation and more concrete action. And as long as the conditions are right, we can expect this trend to continue.

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