Chuck Schumer, leading a group of United States Senators to Beijing, has expressed “disappointment” over Beijing’s response to the Gaza-Israel conflict, during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing.
Wang greeted Schumer, the Senate Majority leader, and his bipartisan delegation, at Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse before proceeding into the meeting.
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In opening remarks, the Chinese foreign minister said he hoped the visit would “help the United States to more accurately understand China”.
He also said he hoped the trip would help the two sides “manage existing differences more rationally, helping the relationship between the two countries return to the track of healthy development”.
Schumer, in turn, thanked Wang for welcoming the group of US politicians who also hope to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“To demonstrate our willingness to undertake frank but productive communication, I am leading this bipartisan delegation,” he said.
“We very much appreciate the time you’re taking to meet with us,” he added.
But Schumer also expressed disappointment over Beijing’s response to events over the weekend in Israel and Gaza.
“The ongoing events in Israel over the past few days are horrific. I urge you and the Chinese people to stand with the Israeli people and condemn these cowardly and vicious attacks,” Schumer told Wang.
“I was very disappointed, to be honest, by the Foreign Ministry statement that showed no sympathy or support for Israel during these troubled times,” he added.
Beijing called on Sunday for all sides to show “calm” and “cease fire immediately”.
But it did not explicitly condemn the Hamas attacks in which hundreds of people were killed and others abducted, instead focusing on the establishment of a two-state solution to end the violence.
Relations between the US and China have deteriorated over a range of issues from trade to the situations in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang, but a series of recent meetings have raised hopes that the two global giants can work through their differences.
The delegation will visit South Korea and Japan on its tour of the Asia Pacific.