Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has announced that he will lead a congressional delegation to China, a move that has prompted Rep. Gallagher to suggest that they also visit Taiwan.
WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is spearheading a bipartisan congressional delegation to China amid rising tensions between the two global powers, making him the highest-ranking congressional official to visit the country.
Speaking after an artificial intelligence forum on September 13, Schumer declined to provide specifics about the trip, which comes following visits by senior Biden administration officials such as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“I’m not going to get into my China trip,” he said, mentioning that Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) has been instrumental in leading this trip. The dates for the trip, which also includes stops in Japan and South Korea, are unknown.
In an effort to rebuild trade and military relations, top U.S. officials have made recent visits to China. Schumer, in particular, has advocated for a tougher stance on China. Last year, he helped allocate billions of dollars to support the U.S. semiconductor industry through the Chip and Science Act. In May, he introduced the China Competition Bill 2.0, a legislative plan aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and limiting technology flow to China.
Schumer highlighted the risk of China gaining a technological advantage during the AI Insight Forum, stating, “Other governments, including adversaries like China, are investing huge resources to get ahead. We could fall behind, to the detriment of our national security.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, expressed skepticism about the delegation’s trip, emphasizing the importance of their itinerary and expressing concerns about lawmakers’ control over their schedule in a socialist country.
“A lot of people would ask us if we’re going to go to China, and I said, ‘I have no interest in sitting in a room getting lectured by CCP officials,'” Gallagher told The Epoch Times. He suggested that if the delegation visits China, they should convey a message condemning the ongoing genocide in Xinjiang, the escalating aggression towards Taiwan, and the economic coercion against U.S. allies, including Japan.
Gallagher, who supported House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last August and made his own visit in February, welcomed the idea of a Taiwan stopover for Schumer’s delegation, stating that more elected officials should witness Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and the challenges it faces in defending against a potential invasion by the People’s Liberation Army.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Schumer’s office for comment.