Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told Chinese President Xi Jinping in a rare meeting Monday that he was ‘very disappointed’ that China failed to condemn the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, as China says that its relationship with the U.S. ‘will determine the future of humanity.’
Schumer, D-N.Y., led a delegation of three Democrat and three Republican senators in U.S. lawmakers’ first visit to Beijing since 2019.
‘The China-U.S. relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world,’ a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday in a post on X, along with a photo of Schumer and Xi shaking hands. ‘How China and the U.S. get along will determine the future of humanity.’
In remarks to Xi, Schumer criticized China for failing to ‘condemn these cowardly and vicious attacks’ after Hamas killed hundreds of Israelis in an unprecedented surprise attack on Saturday, and urged Beijing to stand with Israel.
‘I was very disappointed to be honest by the Foreign Ministry statement that showed no sympathy or support for Israel during these troubled times,’ Schumer said.
A separate Chinese Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday made no mention of the Hamas attack that so far has left more than 1,100 dead and thousands wounded on both sides.
Instead, the statement called on both sides to exercise restraint and immediately end the hostilities and said that establishing an independent state of Palestine is the fundamental way to resolve the issue.
‘The recurrence of the conflict shows once again that the protracted standstill of the peace process cannot go on,’ the statement said.
On Monday, Israeli soldiers were still fighting the terrorist organization to secure the border with Gaza.
Schumer said that the top priority for the Senate delegation is seeking fair trade between the U.S. and China.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also posted on X about the importance of U.S.-China relations to the rest of the world.
‘As two major countries, China and the U.S. should demonstrate the broadmindedness, vision and readiness to rise to the occasion expected by the international community and act with a sense of responsibility to history, to the people and to the world,’ the post read.
U.S. and Chinese lawmakers are trying to arrange a meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi Jinping during a regional summit in San Francisco next month in a bid to manage the increasingly fraught relationship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.