Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked former Starbucks chairman Howard Shultes to help promote trade between Washington and Beijing as a rare example.
The Xinhua news agency said Xi responded to Schultz’s first message urging the multi-billionaire to “continue to play an active role in promoting Sino-US economic and trade cooperation”.
“China will provide a wider space for companies around the world, including Starbucks and other US companies,” Xi wrote in his letter.
It was unclear exactly why the letter was published by the state media, but it comes as relations between the superpowers have reached a nadir with bitter disputes over trade, technology, security and rights.
Starbucks with ubiquitous vision in major Chinese cities says it has opened more than 4,700 coffee shops nationwide since 1999.
Schultz, who stepped in as chairman of the series in 2018, but retained an honorary degree at the company, said earlier, congratulating Xi on China’s transition to a “moderately prosperous society”.
US-China relations have grown rapidly under Donald Trump’s administration.
Beijing and Washington have also blamed the Kovid-19 epidemic and China’s human rights records in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
But China’s top diplomat Wang Yi has called on both sides to “resume negotiations” and “rebuild mutual trust” with the upcoming US administration of the presidential election.
Xi and Shults had previously met at a formal reception in Seattle during a 2015 Chinese state visit to the US.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)