Cisco CEO says global economy will be stronger with the US and China working together

  • "At the end of the day, the global economy is going to be stronger with the U.S. and China working together," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC Tuesday.
  • Robbins said that Cisco had most recently been involved in smart city initiatives in China, for example in the southern city of Guangzhou.

In the face of a continuous stream of headlines about a potential trade war between the United States and China, one technology CEO has called for collaboration between the world's two largest economies.

"At the end of the day, the global economy is going to be stronger with the U.S. and China working together," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

When asked if Cisco's endeavors to build bridges with China could be hampered by protectionist policy coming from the White House, Robbins said: "You have to build relationships with the senior leadership within any customer, within cities you're operating in and within countries — and I don't think you do that based on some concern."

Reflective of Far Eastern companies facing roadblocks in reaching the U.S. market, Chinese mobile maker Huawei has faced troubles in the U.S. recently as a deal for it to sell its Mate 10 Pro smartphone collapsed. U.S. intelligence chiefs said that they would not advise Americans to use products or services from Huawei.

Robbins welcomed news that Chinese leader Xi Jinping could extend his tenure beyond the current two-term limit, explaining that "regardless of the country, stability is always good."

"I think that every country has to think about the best way to operate and to run their own political systems," he said.

"We operate within the constructs that the countries define," Robbins said. Though he added that Cisco should not influence the geopolitical landscape, "we're happy to have dialogues about how we think it should evolve."

Robbins said that Cisco had most recently been involved in smart city initiatives in China, for example in the southern city of Guangzhou.