Sen. Schumer Leads First Congressional Delegation to China in Four Years

by | Oct 8, 2023

Sen. Schumer Leads First Congressional Delegation to China in Four Years

by | Oct 8, 2023

senate democratic leader chuck schumer (50520530381) (1)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer arrived in China on Saturday. Schumer and five other Senators are the first American legislators to visit China since 2019. The delegation’s visit comes as the relationship between Washington and Beijing has severely deteriorated. 

After arriving in Shanghai, Schumer repeated the White House policy that the US wants competition, not confrontation with China. “We are prepared to compete but we do not seek to conflict,” he said. 

However, the Joe Biden administration has adopted an even more aggressive policy towards Beijing than his predecessor, Donald Trump. The president has accelerated a massive military buildup in the countries surrounding China. The administration has pressured its allies in the North Atlantic alliance to join in its military operations in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. 

Additionally, Biden has expanded Trump’s trade war with China. Washington’s further trade restrictions and sanctions have angered Beijing. 

The six Senators, three Democrats and three Republicans, made the trip as the White House is hoping for a meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi next month. Beijing said there was a possibility Schumer could meet with Xi. “If the talks proceed well, there is the possibility that President Xi will meet Schumer,” said Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China. “If their meeting is realized, the chances for a Xi-Biden meeting will become greater.”

Schumer may be unable to navigate the diplomatic path needed to meet with the Chinese leader. The Senators plan to confront Beijing over the fentanyl crisis in America. The US casts blame on Mexico and China over the drug crisis plaguing American streets. 

The Senate Majority Leader also plans to chastise his Chinese counterparts over the increasing trade restrictions Washington and Beijing have placed on each other. “We believe we need reciprocity allowing American companies to compete as freely in China as Chinese companies are able to compete here,” he said.

Senator Rick Scott, a Republican representing Florida, is seeking to prevent future Congressional visits to Beijing. On Thursday, he introduced a bill that would prevent taxpayer funds from being used for travel to China. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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