Tim Cook, Steve Schwarzman among business moguls who spent $40,000 to have dinner with Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed a gathering of American business executives Wednesday night inside the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco.

Xi spoke for over half an hour on the enduring friendship between China and the United States and received standing ovations from the more than 300 corporate leaders and top officials, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman.

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Cook and Schwarzman are among the corporate leaders who shelled out thousands of dollars to attend the exclusive dinner and hear Xi’s message.

As per a report in the New York Post, US business moguls reportedly spent up to $40,000 each to dine at the same table as the Chinese president.

While the ticket price to attend the reception, which included a three-course meal, cost $2,000, leaders who wished to be seated at one of the eight places at Xi’s table had to cough up $40,000, as per the report.

The gala dinner was hosted by the US-China Business Council and the National Committee on US-China Relations.

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As per a Bloomberg report, Schwarzman and Cook were among the top US executives seated at President Xi Jinping’s table.Others granted a place beside Xi included BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio, and Peng Zhao of Citadel Securities, the report said. Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined them during the cocktail hour but departed before dinner began.

Executives from Boeing, Pfizer, Nike, Broadcom, Bridgewater Associates and FedEx were also at the gathering.

The attendees were served a menu of seasonal vegetables in a champagne vinaigrette, black Angus flat iron steak, and vanilla custard tart.

Xi arrived in San Francisco this week for a summit with US President Joe Biden, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

The Chinese leader attended the dinner hours after wrapping up an afternoon of talks with Biden, aimed at containing the turbulence in the bilateral relationship, which has troubled investors. Xi denounced what he called futile American efforts at containing China, but also acknowledged that US tech restrictions had taken a toll.

(With agency inputs)

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