Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed a group of US senators in Beijing on Monday, hoping to improve the strained relations between the two countries.
“The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world,” Xi told the delegation led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to state media.
Xi said China had always believed that the common interests of the two sides outweighed their differences, and called for more dialogue and cooperation.
The US senators also met with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, who urged them to view China objectively and help restore bilateral ties.
“I hope this visit will help the US view China in a more accurate and objective way and bring China-US relations back to the track of sound development,” Wang said.
Schumer, a Democrat, said the US wanted a stable and fair relationship with China, but also demanded a level playing field for American businesses and workers.
“But China must also provide a level playing field for American companies and workers,” Schumer said.
He also criticized China’s stance on the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, which killed hundreds of people. China did not condemn Hamas’ attacks on Israel, but instead called for restraint and a ceasefire from all parties.
Schumer’s visit was part of a bipartisan delegation that aimed to meet with Chinese government and business leaders, as well as Xi himself.
Xi is the head of state and the leader of the ruling Communist Party.
The US-China relationship has been marred by trade disputes, sanctions, human rights issues and espionage allegations.
Many observers are looking forward to a possible summit between Xi and US President Joe Biden at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in San Francisco in November.
However, it is not clear whether Xi will attend the meeting.
China’s Foreign Ministry did not comment on the matter on Monday.