US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) poses for a photo with Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Jining in Shanghai, China, 07 October 2023. EFE-EPA/ALY SONG/POOL

US senators arrive in China for first congressional visit since 2019

Shanghai, China, Oct 7 (EFE).- A delegation of US senators, led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, arrived in Shanghai on Saturday, marking the first congressional visit to China in four years.

The bipartisan delegation, consisting of three Democrats and three Republicans and co-led by Republican Mike Crapo, begins its journey in the eastern city.

The visit is expected to feature meetings with government officials and business representatives.

In a statement earlier this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed hopes that the visit would foster a more balanced understanding of China within the US Congress and facilitate increased dialogue and communication between the legislatures of the two nations.

The foreign ministry also expressed optimism that the stay of the US lawmakers would have a positive impact on strengthening bilateral relations.

The visit is part of a series of diplomatic trips to China by senior US officials aimed at mitigating the worsening relationship between the two superpowers.

Notable figures who have visited China recently include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry.

However, analysts cited by the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post suggested that the likelihood of Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with the senatorial delegation is minimal.

This is partly due to persistent tensions between the two nations and the absence of substantial outcomes from high-level visits over the past year.

The relationship between Beijing and Washington has deteriorated in recent years, primarily due to trade and technology disputes, the imposition of sanctions, tensions over Taiwan, and China’s ambiguous stance on the conflict in Ukraine, where it has refrained from unequivocally condemning the Russian invasion. EFE