Beijing is displaying sincerity in working on its differences with Washington and in clearing up misunderstandings, analysts said on Wednesday as China made a welcome gesture to an upcoming visit by United States lawmakers.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Tuesday that he, along with Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation to China next week, The Associated Press reported.
In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that Beijing welcomes Schumer to lead a bipartisan delegation of senators to China.
“We hope this visit will contribute to a more objective understanding of China in the U.S. Congress, increase dialogue and communication between the legislatures of our two countries, and add positive factors to the growth of China-U.S. relations,” a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said.
The relationship between the world’s two largest economies remains under strain over various issues, including the Taiwan question and the U.S.’ sanctions against China’s semiconductor industry.
Speaking on boosting cultural and parliamentary exchanges at a National Day reception on Sept 27, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Xie Feng noted that China has resumed group tours to the U.S. and the number of direct passenger flights between the two countries will be increased to 48 per week.
“These (steps) have not come easy, and must be cherished …. We still face serious difficulties and grave challenges in our bilateral relationship, and there is still a long way to go to stabilize and improve our relations,” Xie said.
Observers said the upcoming visit by U.S. lawmakers — the first such visit this year for bilateral parliamentary exchanges — “marks another major window of opportunity” for Washington to repair its ties with Beijing and work toward the same goal.
“The high-level exchanges between China and the U.S. have indeed increased in recent times,” said Zhao Minghao, a professor at Fudan University’s Institute of International Studies, referring to the visits by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo this year.
Diao Daming, a professor at Renmin University of China’s School of International Relations, said, “If the U.S. really wants to improve its relations with China, it should turn its promises into tangible actions.”
The U.S. should stop suppressing China while officially engaging in talks with China, Diao added.
Experts noted that the visit by U.S. lawmakers will help build on the positive momentum displayed by two key bilateral meetings held last month.
On Sept 16, a strategic communication took place in Malta between senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
Later last month, Vice-Foreign Minister Sun Weidong and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel J. Kritenbrink met in Washington for the first China-U.S. consultation on Asia-Pacific affairs.