December 11, 2023

SHANGHAI (AP) — A senior American lawmaker, main the primary congressional journey to China in 4 years, stated Saturday that the U.S. doesn’t need to minimize financial ties with the world’s second-largest financial system however seeks a degree enjoying subject in order that American corporations can compete freely.

Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer and 5 different senators arrived in Shanghai earlier within the day on a three-country tour that may even take them to South Korea and Japan. The journey comes amid a pointy deterioration in relations between the U.S. and China and as officers attempt to lay the groundwork for a potential assembly between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in November.

“We’re ready to compete however we don’t search to battle,” Schumer instructed Shanghai’s Communist Occasion chief shortly after the delegation’s arrival.

The get together head, Chen Jining, averted particular points in his public remarks, saying {that a} wholesome and secure China-U.S. relationship would profit the complete world. He famous the presence of 5,640 American corporations in Shanghai, and stated he’s comfortable to have the chance to debate promote commerce on the native degree.

The U.S. has positioned tariff and different commerce restrictions on China over nationwide safety, human rights and different issues and blocked entry to superior semiconductors and different key applied sciences. China has accused the U.S. of searching for to comprise its financial improvement because it emerges as a worldwide energy and potential risk to the U.S.-led worldwide order.

Schumer stated the U.S. desires the Chinese language folks to have elevated financial alternative however that many Individuals really feel China doesn’t deal with U.S. corporations pretty.

“We imagine we want reciprocity permitting American corporations to compete as freely in China as Chinese language corporations are in a position to compete right here,” he stated.

A sequence of high-ranking Biden administration officers have met their Chinese language counterparts in Beijing in latest months, however Schumer and his colleagues are the primary American lawmakers to make the journey since China lifted its COVID-19 restrictions in December of final 12 months.

The delegation of three Democrats and three Republicans landed on a U.S. authorities jet on an overcast and windy afternoon. The Republicans had been led by Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, the senior member of his get together on the Senate Finance Committee. Schumer is a New York Democrat.

China, in a press release earlier this week, stated it hoped the go to would “contribute to a extra goal understanding of China within the U.S. Congress.”

Schumer additionally raised the difficulty of Chinese language corporations which have stopped making fentanyl however which the U.S. authorities says proceed to produce the elements for manufacturing of the opioid in Mexico.

“They’re fueling the fentanyl disaster that’s poisoning communities throughout america,” he stated. “Each one in every of us is aware of households who’ve misplaced younger women and men to fentanyl.”

China has stated that it maintains strict management of the chemical compounds to make sure they aren’t exported for unlawful functions and that the U.S. ought to cease shifting the blame for its failure to curb drug abuse.

In a reminder of the tensions between the 2 international locations, China’s commerce ministry stated on Saturday that new U.S. restrictions positioned on 42 Chinese language corporations had been “a typical act of financial coercion and unilateral bullying.”

The U.S. Commerce Division added the Chinese language corporations and 7 others to its entity checklist on Friday. It stated the businesses provided “U.S.-origin” semiconductors that Russia makes use of for missile steerage methods and drones within the battle in opposition to Ukraine. American corporations can not export to organizations on the entity checklist with out acquiring a particular license.

A Chinese language worldwide relations skilled stated that Schumer’s go to is an indication of enchancment in China-U.S. relations. The senators hope to fulfill Xi in Beijing throughout their go to.

“If the talks proceed properly, there’s the likelihood that President Xi will meet Schumer,” stated Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of Worldwide Affairs at Renmin College of China. “If their assembly is realized, the probabilities for a Xi-Biden assembly will change into larger.”

The White Home has been in contact with Schumer and helps the delegation’s go to to the area, White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated after the journey was introduced.