But analysts said a meeting was unlikely, given the persistent tensions between the two powers and the lack of progress on sticking points following previous visits of US officials.
Einar Tangen, senior fellow at the Beijing-based Taihe Institute and founder of Asia Narratives, said the trip was not expected to lead to a “positive outcome” for Beijing.
“It is doubtful that Xi would meet Schumer. He is a China hawk, who is in Beijing pushing Biden’s agenda,” Tangen said.
He said that if the delegation’s agenda remained to “pretend to engage China while justifying their beliefs and actions”, it would not add to the previous trips by other US officials.
“China is hosting them to show openness, but unless the US delegation is willing to engage in constructive dialogue, it’s just [public relations],” he said.
Since June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, climate envoy John Kerry, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo have been to China, with both sides agreeing to maintain communications.
But little has changed on the structural issues between the two countries.
Despite some progress on resuming people-to-people exchanges and establishing economic and financial working groups, the tit-for-tat tech competition continues and military communication lines between the two countries remain stalled.
Schumer is known for his hawkish stance on Beijing and is a strong advocate of tougher measures against China to curb its hi-tech and military development.
His office said his goal for the trip was to “advance US economic and national security interests” while focusing on “the need for reciprocity in China for US businesses that will level the playing field for American workers, as well as on maintaining US leadership in advanced technologies for national security”.
In the interview with Bloomberg, Crapo said the delegation hoped to engage with Beijing to create opportunities for their conflicts to be resolved.
The ban came after the US introduced sweeping semiconductor export controls on sales to China.
Chong Ja Ian, a US-China relations specialist at the National University of Singapore, said that for its part China was likely to use the talks to raise concerns about US tech restrictions, US activities in the South and East China seas and Taiwan.
He said it was unclear whether the delegation would get to meet the Chinese president and it would be worth noting the seniority of the officials representing China in the discussions to see “how seriously Beijing takes the visit”.
“Hosting the visit would be in line with ongoing efforts to re-establish more regular senior-level communication between the two sides. Having exchanges with the legislative branch of the US government is important,” he said.
“It is unclear to me what Xi would get out of such a meeting at this point.
“Moreover, if the meeting creates an impression of members of the congressional delegation giving in to the [Chinese Communist Party] in domestic US politics, that could create more complications for the [US-China] relationship.
“Already, there have been more senior US visits to [China] than the other way around.”
Josef Gregory Mahoney, an international relations professor at East China Normal University, said that if a meeting with Xi did take place and was positive, then it might increase chances for a Xi-Biden summit.
He said China was likely to pursue a “wait-and-see approach on how the visitors behave” before considering a higher-level meeting.
“If they demonstrate commitments to diplomatic protocol, if they avoid grandstanding and trying to embarrass their hosts, then higher-level meetings might be possible,” he said.