Wall Street chiefs meet Chinese officials amid fierce crackdown on companies

Wall Street executives and top Chinese regulators are planning a virtual meeting to discuss topics including Beijing’s market-threatening crackdown on the private sector and US-China relations.The meeting scheduled for Thursday represents a resumption of the financial roundtable that first held in September 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity. Talks have faltered amid the pandemic.

Among the invitees are Blackstone Inc president Stephen Schwarzman and Goldman Sachs group chairman John Waldron, sources said. From the Chinese side, Vice Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission Fang Xinghai, Governor of the People’s Bank of China Yi Gang, and Zhou Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission were invited.

The high-level meeting comes after investors worried about a regulatory push by Beijing targeting the largest technology companies and other industries, and President Xi Jinping pledged to create “shared prosperity”.

Potential profits in the billions of dollars are at stake on Wall Street, which has been rushing into China as the world’s second-largest economy opens its financial markets to investment banks, wealth and money managers.And the stakes are high for China in its efforts to transform its export-reliant economy. Beijing has so far shown no signs of wavering in its commitment to opening up its $54 trillion market as it seeks new investment and increased domestic competition.

The roundtable will also discuss financial cooperation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Fang made a call in July with executives at major investment banks, in an attempt to ease market concerns after Beijing suddenly wiped out profits in its own education industry.

The US and China are also grappling with protracted confrontations over issues such as market access, data security and international stock listings. Last month, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler warned hundreds of Chinese companies that raised money in US markets that they risked delisting if they did not come under further scrutiny.

When the Roundtable was initially conceptualized in 2018, the idea faced a strong rebuke from then-White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who asked Wall Street to walk out of negotiations, accusing them of “pressing President Donald to end his trade war with China.” .

US President Joe Biden suggested he could meet in person with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a phone call last week, but the Chinese president refused as he continues to avoid leaving his country even for major meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden suggested that the two leaders meet at some point in the next few months, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the conversation.

Xi has not left China for more than 600 days, the longest any G20 leader has spent in his country. Instead, he has virtually appeared at events including a summit of BRICS leaders. He is not expected to appear at the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, although Chinese presidents rarely attend those meetings.

Biden and Xi spoke for 90 minutes on September 10, their first discussion since February. In the call, Biden urged Xi to cooperate on key issues even as disagreement continued over other topics, according to a statement from the White House. But the summit presentation was not disclosed by the White House.

The United States has sought to separate issues such as climate change from more controversial issues such as trade, human rights and democracy in places like Hong Kong, while Beijing has insisted they should not be separated.

The Financial Times had previously reported the presentation of the meeting.

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