U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that he made clear during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bejing that the United States wants equitable business relations with China, along with help in combating the flow of fentanyl into the United States.
Schumer was part of a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation that met with Xi on Monday ahead of a potential meeting between Xi and President Joe Biden next month in San Francisco. An Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit takes place during the week of Nov. 12-18. Beijing has not said who will represent it at the talks.
The congressional delegation’s meeting came at a time when U.S. officials have boosted engagement with Chinese officials, including visits to China by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
In a statement, Schumer said the lawmakers told Chinese officials, “At the foundation of our relationship must be a level playing field for American businesses and workers as well as responsible competition. We need reciprocity.”
The Senate Democratic leader also said, “That means allowing American companies to compete as freely in China as Chinese companies are able to compete in America. I made clear to President Xi that we do not believe there is a level playing field or reciprocity now.”
Schumer gave no assessment of Xi’s reaction to the comments. But the world’s two biggest economies – the U.S. first, China second — have sparred over trade issues for several years now.
Schumer said he called on China “to take more aggressive action” to stop the flow of fentanyl into the U.S.
“Right now, the scourge of fentanyl is costing tens of thousands of lives and destroying American families,” the lawmaker said. “I called on President Xi to work with the United States to stem the flow of precursor chemicals that are fueling America’s fentanyl crisis. China taking meaningful actions on this critical issue will go a long way to improving relations between our two counties, which is a good deal for both of us.”
Source : VOA News