House Republicans Call on Biden to Push for Action from Xi Jinping Ahead of Meeting

On this Wednesday, Republicans of the House Select Committee on China penned a letter to President Joe Biden prior to his scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. They urged President Biden to alter U.S. policy towards China, challenging Beijing to demonstrate an interest in improving relations with the United States.

Headed by Committee Chair Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., the letter detailed the demands that Biden should make to Xi, including stopping the flow of chemicals used to manufacture fentanyl, releasing Hong Kong pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai and others detained by China, as well as preventing near-collisions between Chinese and U.S. warships.

The Republicans emphasized that if Xi did not deliver, the U.S. administration must reject its pursuit of “zombie engagement” and take on a more assertive posture to protect American interests and values.

Biden and Xi are projected to meet during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. The last conversation between the two leaders took place in November 2022 at a Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

The details of Biden’s upcoming meeting with Xi have not yet been disclosed. The meeting with Xi comes after Biden met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the White House a month ago.

The Committee Republicans expressed agreement with the Biden administration’s intention to prevent a damaging conflict with China but voiced concerns that the U.S. has made too many concessions without demanding sufficient reciprocation from China.

Notably, they criticized Biden for not imposing sanctions on Chinese officials for the erosion of Hong Kong’s authority or China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, western China, which has been condemned by the U.S. and other Western governments as a form of genocide.

The letter concluded with all 13 Republicans on the committee signing it, pledging to work with the administration to defend the U.S. against threats from the Chinese Communist Party.

Established by a bipartisan vote, the House China committee was created in January to focus on competition with the Chinese Communist Party. The committee adopted its first set of policy recommendations in May, outlining strategies to prevent a military conflict in Taiwan and to put an end to the mistreatment of Uyghurs by the Chinese government.

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