• REUTERS

US Senators Hope to Meet with Xi during China Trip Next Week

REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
The flags of the United States and China fly from a lamppost in the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., November 1, 2021.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of U.S. senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, plans to visit China next week and hopes to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a spokesperson for Republican Senator Mike Crapo confirmed on Monday.

Schumer’s office said last month he was planning a trip to China, South Korea and Japan co-led by Crapo but did not comment on Monday. The Chinese Embassy in Washington declined to comment.

THE TAKE

Some senators are eager to boost engagement with China and address business-related issues between China and the United States.

A growing number of U.S. businesses are expressing frustration at operating in China, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said recently. “For U.S. business in many cases patience is running thin and it’s time for action,” she said.

CONTEXT

– Communication between U.S. and Chinese officials has increased in recent months, bringing some improvement in ties strained for years over issues such as Taiwan, the origins of COVID-19 and accusations of Chinese spying.

– The Biden administration has placed curbs on chip exports to China, saying they aim to deny Beijing access to advanced technology that could further military advancements or rights abuses. China hit back with accusations of economic coercion.