HONG KONG — A gaggle of senators led by Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., met with Chinese language President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, in an indication that Xi might maintain a extremely anticipated assembly with President Joe Biden later this fall.
The Chinese language chief instructed Schumer that the U.S. and China have an important bilateral relationship on this planet and that their widespread pursuits outweigh their variations, state media reported. His feedback got here even because the outbreak of warfare between Israel and Hamas threatens to additional pressure ties which can be already at their lowest level in a long time.
The bipartisan group of six senators, which can be touring to U.S. allies South Korea and Japan, is the primary congressional delegation to China since 2019. They met with Xi on the Nice Corridor of the Folks in Beijing, in accordance with state-run broadcaster CCTV.
Throughout their assembly, Schumer mentioned he was “upset” by what he described as China’s lack of “sympathy” for Israel after a shock assault by fighters from the Palestinian militant group Hamas that was the deadliest incursion into Israeli territory in 50 years.
On Sunday, the Chinese language Overseas Ministry urged “related events” to right away stop hostilities to guard civilians.
“The basic means out of the battle lies in implementing the two-state answer and establishing an unbiased State of Palestine,” the ministry mentioned in a press release that didn’t point out Hamas.
Chatting with Xi on Monday, Schumer described the occasions in Israel as “horrific.”
“I urge you and the Chinese language individuals to face with the Israeli individuals and condemn these cowardly and cruel assaults,” he mentioned.
“I used to be very upset, to be trustworthy, by the international ministry’s assertion that confirmed no sympathy or assist for Israel throughout these troubled occasions,” Schumer added.
Schumer delivered the identical assertion earlier Monday to Chinese language Overseas Minister Wang Yi, who additionally attended the senators’ assembly with Xi.
Israel additionally criticized China’s response, saying it anticipated to see a “stronger condemnation” of Hamas.
Requested about Schumer’s remarks on Monday, the Chinese language Overseas Ministry mentioned it was “deeply saddened” by the civilian casualties and referred to as for a cease-fire and negotiations, whereas reiterating assist for a two-state answer.
“China is a standard good friend of Israel and Palestine,” spokesperson Mao Ning mentioned at a daily information briefing in Beijing. “We sincerely hope to see Palestine and Israel co-existing peacefully and sharing safety and improvement.”
Although Biden’s focus is more likely to shift to the Center East, a current diplomatic blitz has raised hopes for a thaw in relations between the world’s two largest economies.
The almost certainly setting for a Biden-Xi assembly could be subsequent month in San Francisco, which is internet hosting the Asia Pacific Financial Cooperation discussion board.
The leaders final met in Indonesia final November on the annual summit of the Group of 20 economies, an occasion Xi didn’t attend this yr when it was held in India. They haven’t spoken since, whilst U.S.-China relations have spiraled over commerce, expertise, the standing of Taiwan, China’s stance on Russia’s warfare in Ukraine and the looks of an alleged Chinese language spy balloon over U.S. territory early this yr.
Requested a couple of potential assembly with Xi, Biden instructed reporters on Friday that “there was no such assembly arrange, however it’s a risk.”
The senators had expressed hope for their very own assembly with Xi earlier than their journey to Asia, which they mentioned was geared toward advancing U.S. financial and nationwide safety pursuits within the area. Throughout their journey, which started in Shanghai on Saturday, they’re assembly with authorities and enterprise leaders in addition to executives from American corporations.
Schumer instructed Wang on Monday that whereas Washington doesn’t search battle with Beijing, China ought to present a “degree taking part in area” to American corporations working within the nation, which have raised considerations about tightening rules and an unpredictable enterprise atmosphere.
Wang urged Schumer to respect China’s core pursuits and proper to improvement. Beijing has objected to U.S. measures geared toward slicing it off from superior semiconductor chips in addition to restrictions Biden ordered in August on U.S. funding in some high-tech industries in China which can be thought-about strategically delicate.
Although it was organized independently from the White Home, the senators’ journey obtained expressions of assist from the Biden administration, which despatched a sequence of senior officers to Beijing over the summer season in an effort to enhance relations.
Senior U.S. officers, together with members of Congress, wouldn’t usually meet with such a high-ranking Chinese language determine as Xi. The Chinese language president met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June however not different U.S. officers who made subsequent journeys to Beijing, together with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, U.S. local weather envoy John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The opposite members of the congressional delegation are Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Invoice Cassidy, R-La.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; John Kennedy, R-La.; and Jon Ossoff, D-Ga.