US Senate delegation to visit China next week

A bipartisan group of six senators led by Chuck Schumer and Mike Crapo reportedly also hope to meet with Xi.
By Alex Willemyns for RFA
US Senate delegation to visit China next week Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer [left] will lead a bipartisan group of senators – that will include Sen. Mike Crapo [right] of Idaho, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee – on a trip to China, South Korea and Japan next week.
AP file photos

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will lead a bipartisan group of six senators on a trip next week to China, South Korea and Japan, with reports they hope to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

The delegation will include Democrats Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, according to an announcement from Schumer’s office. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, will be joined by Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, both Republicans of Louisiana. 

The trip to China was scheduled with the goal of “advancing U.S. economic and national security interests in the region,” the document says, and will also include business leaders from both countries.

“Leader Schumer will focus on the need for reciprocity in China for U.S. businesses that will level the playing field for American workers, as well as on maintaining U.S. leadership in advanced technologies for national security,” the document says. It also lists fentanyl, human rights and China’s “role in the international community” as topics.

The announcement does not provide dates for the trip – or details about South Korea and Japan legs – but says it will take place during next week’s Senate recess, which begins Friday and ends Oct. 16.

Xi meeting

A report by Bloomberg, citing anonymous courses, said the senators hope to meet with Xi while in China, and plan to discuss a ban on the sale in China of products made by U.S. chipmaker Micron, which was unveiled in June amid the ongoing U.S.-China “chip war.”

Crapo’s office confirmed the planned trip to RFA but declined to comment further on the itinerary. Schumer’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The Chinese Embassy in Washington welcomed the trip but also declined to comment on any Xi meeting.

“China welcomes people from all walks of life in the United States, including members of the Congress, to visit China so as to have a better understanding of China, promote exchanges between the two countries, and inject more positive energy into the China-U.S. relationship,” said embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu.

Next week’s trip comes amid an attempted thaw in the relationship between China and the United States that is now four months old. 

Over that time, four members of President Joe Biden’s cabinet have visited Beijing, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. However, a senior member of China’s government is yet to make the reverse trip to Washington.


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