Beijing said on Wednesday it welcomed an upcoming visit to China by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other senior lawmakers, saying it hoped the trip would enhance their “understanding” of the country.
Next week’s delegation will be the latest in a series of visits by US officials to China, as both sides seek to defuse tensions across a range of security and economic issues that have been at their highest levels in years.
“(We) hope that this visit will enhance the US Congress’s objective understanding of China,” Beijing’s foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that it “welcomes” the visit.
The ministry said it hopes the trip will “promote dialogue and exchanges between the legislative bodies of the two countries, and inject positive elements into the development of China-US relations”.
Schumer is set to be accompanied on the trip by Republican colleague Senator Mike Crapo, Bloomberg reported.
The six-person delegation is hoping to secure a meeting with President Xi Jinping, US media reported, and will seek to raise issues ranging from the climate for US businesses in China to human rights.
The New York Times reported, citing the Senators’ offices, that the delegation will also stop off in South Korea and Japan.
It follows recent visits to China this year by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Climate Envoy John Kerry.
Schumer and fellow lawmakers in May announced a major cross-party effort to combat China’s growing global influence by limiting the flow of investment and state-of-the-art technology to the Asian giant.
Launching the drive in the Senate, Schumer framed the fight to rein in President Xi’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as an epochal struggle.
“The Chinese government is not constraining itself in its pursuit to dominate the 21st century, and if we in America were to rest on our laurels, if we let the CCP beat us, it would have serious consequences for the world’s democratic nations,” he said.
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