May 23, 2009 to May 31, 2009
Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing, China

The third trip to China that the National Committee has conducted for the bipartisan congressional U.S.-China Working Group (USCWG) focused on the effects of the financial and economic crisis on China’s economy, issues of concern to American companies in China, and Sino-American relations. As the mission of the USCWG is to educate members of Congress about the U.S.-China relationship, these member’s trips play an important part in encouraging American policies that are based on informed knowledge of China.

The delegation included USCWG Co-chairs Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rick Larsen (D-WA) and their staff directors; National Committee President Stephen Orlins; and Public Intellectuals Program Fellow Scott Kennedy, an associate professor of political science at Indiana University and director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business. The eight-day itinerary included Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing.

In Beijing, the delegation met with several senior officials, including Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming; Gao Xiqing, president of the China Investment Corporation; the head of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan (a participant on a National Committee exchange in the early 1980s); and chairman of the Banking Regularory Commission Lu Mingkang.

Insightful discussions with local officials provided valuable perspectives on the local impacts of the global financial crisis, particularly Guangdong Provincial Party Secretary (and Politburo member) Wang Yang and Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning; Minhang District Party Secretary Sun Chao; the director general of Shanghai’s office for financial services Fang Xinghai; Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang; the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Joseph Yam; and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury in the Hong Kong Government KC Chan. Former Chief Executive of Hong Kong C. H. Tung hosted a dinner for the group.

In each city, the group met with CEOs and representatives of major American companies in China as well as U.S. Embassy and Consulate officials to gain a clear picture of on-the-ground realities. These meetings included discussions at the American Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. Supplementing these meetings were visits to industrial sites including a Motorola plant and John Deere factory in Tianjin, and the Mattel and Baxter operations in Guangdong.

The schedule was rounded out by more informal occasions such as a gathering with journalists from leading American publications, lunch with Chinese vice presidents of the National Basketball Association and an informal match that pitted Congressman Larsen against Chinese national basketball star Ma Jian.

For the congressmen and their staff, the trip reinforced the importance of the complex and dynamic ties between the two countries, particularly during the financial crisis, when mutual cooperation has the potential to promote positive developments worldwide.

Congressional Members Delegations to China

Congressional Members Delegations to China

The National Committee regularly sends members of Congress to China, having arranged and escorted eight delegations since 2006. The week-long study tours are designed to educate the congressmen and women about China through personal introductions to senior Chinese leaders and a range of informative site visits and meetings.

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