Repositioning the U.S.-China Discussion with Minister Zhu Hong

On April 21, 2021, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with Cargill to host a virtual conversation with H.E. Zhu Hong, Minister of Commercial Affairs, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, for a discussion on China’s 14th Five-Year plan and his insight into the future of U.S.-China relations. Minister Zhu emphasized that he is hopeful in the role U.S. companies can play within China’s growing middle-class population and its shift towards modernization over the next decade.

Minister Zhu Hong was appointed Minister for Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to the United States in April 2015. Before that, he had been Deputy Representative and Minister of China’s Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization in Geneva from June 2012 to April 2015. He was also China’s chief negotiator in China-Chile, China-Peru, China-Costa Rica, China-Pakistan, China-Switzerland and China-GCC FTAs.

Throughout the webinar, Minister Zhu acknowledged that the bilateral relationship between China and the United States had been strained due to various tensions between the two countries. However, he noted that U.S. companies’ engagement with China, as the county implements its 14th Five-Year plan, will be crucial to the revitalization of the global economy. Minister Zhu highlighted that cooperation has begun on the issue of greenness, stating that China’s recent climate talks with Special Envoy to the Climate, John Kerry, exemplified that both sides pledge to combat climate change swiftly and vigorously. This implementation of green technologies within China is a place where U.S. companies could thrive in the country, according to Minister Zhu. Yet, the issue of trade openness is still questionable, as U.S. foreign policy officials continue to negotiate the country’s position on Chinese goods and services. Minister Zhu ended his remarks by urging U.S. companies to advocate for China and educate the American public on the importance of the U.S.-China relationship economically, politically and socially.

Project summary

Repositioning the U.S.-China Discussion with Minister Zhu Hong | April 2021
Number of Attendees: 48
Regions: East Asia and Pacific
Countries: China
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement