HONG KONG (Reuters) – Blackstone Group Inc chairman Stephen Schwarzman said Tuesday that the new US administration will take a “softer tone” towards China and that he expects less tension between the two countries.
Schwarzman, a major Wall Street donor to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, was speaking at a financial forum in Hong Kong.
“There is really a substantial overlap of interest in these countries and interest in the world,” he said. “I expect to see a lot less tension.”
Schwarzman’s remarks came a day before President-elect Joe Biden took office.
Outgoing President Donald Trump was quick to pass final executive orders against China during his last week in office, including assessing the safety risks of Chinese drones and calling for US investors to divest completely. from the securities of 44 companies believed to be linked to the Chinese military.
Investors expected more clarity from Biden’s administration regarding the rules, but did not hope for a fundamental change in the relationship between the two largest economies in the world.
Schwarzman served as chairman of Trump’s Strategic and Political Forum and was involved in trade talks between the US and China, according to his autobiography published in 2019.
His company Blackstone invests in the real estate, pharmaceutical and other sectors of China.
Schwarzman also founded Schwarzman Scholars, an international postgraduate scholarship program at Tsinghua University of China.
Kane Wu reporting; Written by Sumeet Chatterjee, edited by Louise Heavens