Schumer, U.S. senators meet China's Xi in latest diplomatic outreach
A bipartisan delegation of senators led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday as part of an effort to stabilize the fragile relations between the U.S. and China.
Why it matters: The lawmakers are the latest senior U.S. officials to travel to Beijing in recent months to try to smooth ties between the two countries — and the trip comes ahead of a possible meeting between President Biden and Xi next month.
Driving the news: During Monday's meeting, Xi said he hopes for "peaceful coexistence" and "win-win cooperation" between the U.S. and China.
- At a press conference after the meeting, Schumer said: "The best path forward for the U.S. remains cooperation and fair competition."
- "Both sides, the Chinese and us, said unless we have sincere conversations about our differences and not pull any punches, that we would never solve these problems," he added.
Details: Schumer also pressed Xi and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to issue a stronger statement on Hamas' recent attack on Israel, saying he was disappointed with China's initial reaction.
- After the meeting, in an updated statement through a foreign ministry spokesperson, China said it "condemns all violence and attacks on civilians" and that it believes the "most urgent task now is to reach a ceasefire and restore peace."
- Originally, its foreign ministry called on "relevant parties to remain calm, exercise restraint and immediately end the hostilities to protect civilians and avoid further deterioration of the situation."
Of note: Biden has signaled that it's possible he could meet with Xi at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November.
- Biden and Xi's meeting would round off a turbulent year between the two counties.
- The relationship was rocked in part by a congressional meeting with Taiwanese leadership, major Chinese military exercises around Taiwan and the Western Pacific, drama over balloons originating from China that entered U.S. airspace, and increasingly fiery rhetoric from the countries' leaders.
The big picture: Before making the trip, Schumer said the delegation's visit would focus on promoting reciprocity for U.S. businesses and urging China to crack down on fentanyl.
- Schumer was joined by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.).
- The group heads to Japan and Korea next.