Visit Of U.S. Senators To China

It seems that the United States has no intention of learning from the impasse in its relations with China and Russia. Instead, Americans persist with their established approach, extending a welcome for negotiations on one hand, while exerting additional pressure on their counterparts to remind them of America’s position as the leading global power.

On 7 October, a delegation of US senators, led by Chuck Schumer, the current Democratic Majority Leader, arrived in China for the first time since 2019. This visit marks the eighth instance of contact between the two sides since June, which suggests a potential improvement in relations or at least the possibility of establishing red lines between the states. Moreover, the fact that the United States, as the instigators of current confrontation, has proposed consultations in seven out of the eight instances can also be seen as a sign of potential progress.

Visiting U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping before their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.

Based on initial impressions, the visit seemed to yield positive results. This was evident as Xi Jinping extended his personal attention to the delegates, indicating China’s openness to engage in negotiations. Additionally, Mr Schumer’s restrained use of accusatory rhetoric towards Beijing showcased Washington’s preparedness for dialogue.  The U.S. representative further assured the Chinese counterparts of Washington’s readiness to cooperate and engage in fair competition. Despite the occurrence of a fresh wave of Arab-Israeli conflict, it did not hinder the trip from reaching a favorable resolution. Surprisingly, Americans exhibited unusual restraint by modestly urging the PRC to exert its influence over Hamas.

If we focus solely on diplomatic interactions between Beijing and Washington, it is reasonable to anticipate a period of relaxation and easing tensions, particularly with Xi’s upcoming meeting with Biden. An in-depth conversation is likely to take place during the APEC summit scheduled for November.

However, it remains uncertain whether the Chinese will consent to such action considering the ongoing hostile activities by the United States. Just before the arrival of senators, the United States imposed sanctions on 42 Chinese companies for their trade with Moscow. Concurrently, maritime exercises between the U.Sю and Philippines persisted in the South China Sea, causing discomfort for Beijing. The Democrats, led by Mr Schumer, once again emphasized the need for funds to safeguard Taiwan from “Chinese aggression”. Furthermore, these events unfolded on the eve of the highly significant “One Belt, One Road” summit for China.

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