VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine spoke on China’s involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean during a hearing Thursday.

Kaine chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on the western hemisphere to discuss challenges regarding China’s economic, diplomatic, and security involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The senator addressed the Biden administration officials and other foreign policy experts about the relationship between the U.S. and foreign countries.

“East-West issues receive outsized attention in the media and in our own foreign policy work, and that’s understandable; but north-south ties are every bit as important because of the inextricable political, cultural, and economic bonds we share with our neighbors throughout the Americas,” said Kaine.

The senator says the U.S. needs to strengthen its engagement with other countries.