Xinhua reported on Thursday that Chinese President Xi Jinping had written to Schultz, encouraging the American billionaire and global coffee giant to last years to improve economic and trade relations.
Xi’s letter was in response to a message from an American businessman.
According to a person familiar with the matter, Shults recently translated his latest book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America” to the Chinese president. The correspondence also includes a letter to Xi, pointing to Starbucks’ longtime commitment to China and its employees, the person said.
Starbucks requested a request from CNN Business for comment from Shultes’ representative, who did not respond outside of regular US business hours.
According to Xinhua, Xi suggested that Shultes and Starbucks ()SBUX) “Continues to play a positive role in advancing relations between the two countries. Xi also stressed that China was working to open up” beyond enterprises including Starbucks and other American companies “all over the world, the agency said. Told.
Schultz stepped in as chairman of Starbucks in 2018, after which he received an honorary title of chairman emeritus. At the time, he said he was looking for a run for president in 2020 as an independent candidate. Those plans were eventually discontinued.
Shultes is outspoken on political issues. During his four decades at Starbucks, he positioned the company as a progressive champion in corporate America.
Shultes has also addressed US-China relations. In 2018, he stressed the effects of the trade war, saying that US tariffs on Chinese goods would not help American jobs. China is Starbucks’ top overseas growth market.
“Every time we have had a trade conflict, and there have been trade wars, it has resulted in a decline in the United States economy,” he told CNN at the time. “This is what I really believe. [of] America should not build any kind of walls. We should build a bridge. “