Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered to hold U.S- China trade talks in Macau, a move that has been viewed as a slight towards Hong Kong, whilst being a reminder to Macau’s U.S. casino operators what is at stake, according to reports.
The meeting between China and the U.S. was originally set to take place at the APEC Summit in Chile’s capital – but was canned after Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that Santiago would no longer host the summit amid massive protests and riots.
According to observers, the invitation to Macau sends two clear messages.
The first is directed at Hong Kong, which is no longer seen as China’s “Golden Child” amid mass demonstrations and protests of their own – much of which has been anti-China.
The second is directed at Macau’s U.S. casino operators, including Sands China, MGM China, and Wynn Resorts.
Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson and his wife are particularly tempting targets, as they were generous donors to Trump’s presidential campaign in the past and seen to be close with the U.S. president.
U.S.-China tensions have had a strong impact on share prices of these casino operators, which have flatlined or dropped since relations between the two countries began to fray last year.