"Both sides need the other," Roger McNamee, founding partner of Elevation Partners, said. "We cannot pretend we can grow without China as a market, and China cannot possibly grow without the U.S. as its largest trading partner."
Technology business leaders like Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella were among those reportedly present in Seattle on Wednesday when Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on cyberespionage policies. Xi's diplomatic visit is expected by McNamee to bring small but positive changes to the business relations between the two nations.
The technology sector has the most to gain from warmer relations between the U.S. and China, McNamee said, pointing to companies such as Microsoft and Cisco that have struggled with Chinese policies on intellectual property.
"The United States need markets for its technology," McNamee said. "The Chinese need to restore higher rates of growth to their economy. In there is an opportunity for a more positive relationship."
China-U.S. relations had been icy for several years as the American political process was impotent against the rocketing Chinese economy, McNamee said. But with President Barack Obama leaving office soon and growth slowing in China, McNamee said the preconditions for compromise are better now than before.
"Both sides are going to have to compromise in some places," McNamee said. "The question is, is that area for compromise great enough to enable U.S. companies to do more business [in China]?"