House Republicans want President Joe Biden to “challenge Beijing” when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping next week in San Francisco.
The White House confirmed Friday that Biden and Xi will meet Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
During their first meeting in nearly a year, they will discuss trade, Taiwan, and managing fraught U.S.-Chinese relations.
Republicans on the House Select Committee on China sent Biden a letter Wednesday urging the president to “challenge Beijing” to prove that it wants to improve relations with the U.S., according to multiple media reports.
The items, in the letter, that Biden should demand from Xi included:
- Release all U.S. citizens deemed wrongly detained in China.
- Cease all military operations in Taiwan’s air space.
- Establish know-your-customer requirements on shipments of fentanyl ingredients.
- Release and drop charges against Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigner Jimmy Lai and others held by China.
- End near-collisions between Chinese and U.S. warships.
“If Xi fails to deliver, your administration must end its pursuit of zombie engagement and shift gears to a more assertive posture in order to defend American interests and values,” committee Chair Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., wrote, NBC News reported.
“Despite repeated concessions from Washington over the past year, Beijing has made none and continues to threaten core U.S. interests,” Gallagher said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
“At this week’s meeting, the administration should walk away from the table if the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] proves unwilling to address even the most basic issues in the relationship, such as immediately releasing all Americans wrongfully detained in the PRC [People’s Republic of China], ceasing dangerous and unjustifiable intercepts of American forces, and halting operations in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone east of the Median Line.”
GOP members on the China committee said they agree with the administration’s “desire to deter a devastating conflict” with China but expressed concerns that the U.S. has made too many concessions while not demanding enough.
Republicans criticized Biden for not sanctioning Chinese officials for the “erosion of Hong Kong’s authority” or for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims.
Biden and Xi last met in November 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, at a summit of the Group of 20 economies.
The Associated Press contributed to the story.
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Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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