bipartisan US Senate delegation led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited China from October 7 to October 11, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials in Beijing on October 9, after first visiting Shanghai.
Maintaining a healthy and stable bilateral relationship was the focus of Xi’s discussion with the US congressional delegation, according to Chinese State media outlet the Xinhua News Agency.
Xi said the China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and how China and the US get along will determine the future of humanity. He told the US delegation that competition and confrontation is not consistent with the trend of the times.
The Chinese president said that the common interests of the two countries far outweigh their differences, and the respective success of China and the US is an opportunity, rather than a challenge, to each other.
“The ‘Thucydides Trap’ is not inevitable, and planet Earth is vast enough to accommodate the respective development and common prosperity of China and the United States,” he said, adding that post-pandemic global recovery, meeting the climate challenge and resolving international and regional hotspots require China-US coordination and cooperation.
China and the US should properly handle their relations, respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation. Both countries should work to increase the wellbeing of the two peoples, and contribute to human progress and world peace and development, Xi stressed.
Senator Schumer and other members of the US delegation shared their views and suggestions on bilateral relations, noting that a stable US-China relationship is of vital importance not only to the two countries, but also to world peace and development.
The US delegates said that the US does not seek conflict with China, nor does it seek to decouple. Instead, the US is willing to enhance dialogue and communication with China and looks forward to strengthening bilateral trade and investment cooperation, and increasing communication and cooperation on issues such as climate change, drug trafficking and regional conflicts.
Delegates from the US Senate first visited China in 1979 after the two countries established diplomatic relations. In 1999 and 2004, the National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislative body, established communication systems with the US House of Representatives and the Senate. However, communications were suspended after 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the deterioration in bilateral relations.
According to foreign media, the US congressional delegation focused on the fentanyl issue and the “fair treatment of American enterprises in China.” Although Chinese official sources did not reveal details about the two issues, observers believe the visit is a positive signal for the two countries to ease tensions.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visited China in July and August. At the end of September, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong, on invitation from the US, arrived in Washington, DC to share China’s views with US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink on Asia-Pacific issues of common concerns.