A bipartisan delegation of US senators arrived in China on Saturday, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying America seeks competition and not conflict with the Asian superpower.
(Bloomberg) — A bipartisan delegation of US senators arrived in China on Saturday, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying America seeks competition and not conflict with the Asian superpower.
The senators met the Shanghai Communist Party secretary, Chen Jining, after landing early afternoon. Besides holding talks with senior officials in the city, they will visit US companies in Shanghai before heading to Beijing, where the delegation is seeking to meet President Xi Jinping.
“We are the two biggest economies in the world and it behooves the world that we can get along,” Schumer said as he met Chen. The US doesn’t want an economic decoupling with China, and “we are prepared to compete but do not seek conflict,” he said.
The senators’ trip follows several China visits by high-level officials in President Joe Biden’s administration seeking to smooth ties after months of escalating tensions. The US is hoping to open the door to a potential November meeting between Biden and Xi at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. Beijing hasn’t confirmed whether the Chinese leader will attend.
“China-US is the most important relationship,” Chen said, adding that “healthy and stable” ties are beneficial for both sides.
US Senators to Seek Xi Meeting, Discuss Micron on China Trip
Other senators in the delegation include Republicans Mike Crapo of Idaho, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, as well as Democrats Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Georgia’s Jon Ossoff.
Schumer raised the issue of fair competition for some American companies operating in China. Crapo said earlier this week that the delegation plans to raise market-access concerns on behalf of Micron Technology Inc., which has a significant presence in both their states, according to people familiar with the planning.
“When we talk to American companies, they bring that up,” Schumer said as he met Chen. “We share those feelings and it affects America’s views of China.”
“But the bottom line is that we can both strive to seek to achieve a level playing field as we compete economically and reciprocity, allowing American companies to compete as freely in China as Chinese companies do here,” he said.
Schumer also said one topic that will be discussed is the flow of chemicals used to make fentanyl. The delegation will raise issues including human rights and the investment climate for US businesses in China, Bloomberg reported this week.
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