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Xi asks Starbucks’ Schultz to help repair US-China ties

In this Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech at the...
In this Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech at the commemorating conference on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese army entering North Korea to resist the U.S. army, at the Great Hall fo the People in Beijing. Xi is asking former CEO Howard Schultz of Starbucks to help repair U.S.-Chinese relations that have plunged to their lowest level in decades amid a tariff war and tension over technology and security.(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 5:55 AM MST
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BEIJING (AP) - President Xi Jinping has asked former CEO Howard Schultz of Starbucks, one of the most prominent American brands in China, to help repair U.S.-Chinese relations amid a tariff war and tension over technology and security.

The letter reported by state media was a rare direct communication from Xi, who also is chairman of the ruling Communist Party, to a foreign business leader.

Schultz opened Starbucks’ first China outlet in 1999 and is a frequent visitor. Xi encouraged Schultz to “play an active role” in promoting relations.

It gave no indication whether the letter reflected an initiative to ask American corporate leaders to help change policy toward China after President-elect Joe Biden takes office next week.

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