US-Sino relations can survive election
As the US presidential election takes place on Tuesday, at least one Chinese businessman is still optimistic about US-Sino relations despite some of the heated rhetoric about China from both candidates seeking to occupy the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world,” Charlie Jiang, CEO of the China-US SkyClub that is under development at the World Trade Center in New York City, said in an interview on Monday. “Because of the huge two-way investment between the two nations, no one will say we don’t need China and we don’t need America.”
The campaigns of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump featured a lot of tough talk about trade between the US and China, with Trump especially critical of US trade with China and Mexico.
Clinton, normally a backer of open trade, came out in opposition to Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement with 11 other countries which she initially supported. China is not a part of TPP.
Despite the political rhetoric, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US has soared this year. The Rhodium Group said the US continues to be one of the top recipients of Chinese capital, with more than $18.4 billion of FDI in the first six months of 2016. This compares to about $15.3 billion of Chinese FDI coming into the US for all of 2015.
Jiang reflected on that as he discussed the road ahead for China and the US after the election ends and President Barack Obama leaves office in January.
“The election has been a very interesting experience and I have learned a lot,” he said. “I am confident that whoever will be the president, we will all welcome them to the SkyClub in the future.”
Jiang is also the chairman of Vantone Real Estate and CEO of Vantone Holdings, parent company of the China-US SkyClub which will occupy the 89th floor of the One World Trade Center. It will replace the original building that was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
He will spend about $50 million to make the SkyClub — formerly known as the China Center New York — into a “platform for US-Sino Synergy”. The club will have a restaurant, meeting space and other amenities for members who are expected to be primarily from the world of business and represent some of the biggest companies in both China and the US.
“We want to provide an atmosphere that will promote the relationship between the US and China,” Jiang said. “I am a positive person so whoever will not be the president of the US should know that he or she will also be welcome at the club.”
An officer with the New York Police Department Transit Bureau K-9 unit walks through Times Square in New York on Monday, the day before the US presidential election. The NYPD said there would be 5,000 uniformed officers on patrol throughout Election Day. See story > p2
Charlie Jiang, CEO of China Center New York LLC and vicechairman of China General Chamber of Commerce.