China's Xi talks with US business leaders, calls for better bilateral ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with US business leaders and called on them to help improve bilateral ties.

China's Foreign Ministry says Xi held a meeting with top officials from US businesses, including investment and major semiconductor firms, among other officials at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.

The ministry reports that Xi emphasized that for the past few years, the relationship between China and the United States "experienced some setbacks and serious challenges, from which lessons should be learned." The ministry says Xi added the two countries "should help rather than hinder each other's development."

Xi reportedly said cooperation between the two sides is necessary for a world economic recovery. He called on the US to "work with China in the same direction," and "actively explore the right way for the two countries to get along."

It is rare for Xi to meet with officials from foreign firms. Premier Li Qiang spoke with a delegation of Japanese business leaders when they visited China in January.

Observers say Xi wants to stabilize bilateral relations through economic cooperation. China has been at odds with the US over advanced technologies, such as semiconductors, and Beijing is seeing a decline in direct investment from foreign companies.