Since 2007, the National Committee has sent regular delegations of congressional senior staff members to China each year. To date, more than 150 congressional offices and committees have participated in an NCUSCR-led staff delegation to China, which draw senior aides from both the Senate and House and from both D.C. and non-D.C.-based offices.

The discussions, meetings, and site-visits on these eight to ten-day, in-country programs focus on key issues in the U.S.-China relationship, such as energy, climate change, security, and trade. As part of their explorations, groups have investigated China's emerging alternative energy sector, minority issues, high-speed rail and infrastructure development, technological innovation, and agriculture.

Largely listening tours for the participants to develop their understanding of China's accomplishments and challenges, these visits complement the Committee's other efforts to educate Congress on issues relating to China, including our congressional member delegations to China and Capitol Hill briefings for new members of Congress.

For each trip, either the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress in China or the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs assists the National Committee in arranging senior-level visits within China and setting up other meetings and activities. The National Committee works closely with one such counterpart organization and the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. to develop an informative and pertinent itinerary.

On the U.S. side, the National Committee often works in conjunction with the U.S.-China Working Group, a bipartisan organization for House members and offices interested in deepening their China knowledge. All congressional trips are conducted under the U.S. Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (MECEA).

Each group is accompanied by several knowledgeable escorts: a senior staff member from the National Committee, staffers from the Chinese counterpart organization, and an American China scholar, who previously participated in the Committee's Public Intellectuals Program.

In 2017, the National Committee led three congressional staff delegations to China. The most recent delegation, in December of last year, consisted of 11 senior congressional staffers from district offices around the country. The program participants traveled to Beijing and Yunnan Province in Southwestern China, where they gained exposure to a wide variety of issues. The group was briefed by experts on tensions with North Korea, trade and economic issues, the implications of the 19th Party Congress, the environment and urbanization, and poverty alleviation, among other topics. Such information is very helpful to the staffers as it enables them to better address constituent concerns as well as understand policies emanating from Washington.

These programs continue the National Committee's long history of organizing and leading U.S. congressional staff trips to China, beginning in 1976, when we took the first group of congressional staffers to China

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