This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 24, 2015:
The Chinese invitation extended to senior executives at major Silicon Valley firms was no invitation but a command: Be there, or lose any chance to exploit business opportunities in China.
The annual Seattle conference in the past has been primarily directed to midlevel management at companies such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. But this year, taking advantage of China’s President Xi Jinping’s planned visit with President Obama, the date of the conference was moved up, and the invitation/command was extended to the senior executive officers. The carrot offered was a presentation by Xi himself.
The threat was reiterated, for anyone who didn’t get the message, in an interview the Wall Street Journal did with Xi: