Helping the Hill understand ChinaW
Updated: 2015-06-11 11:21
By Hua Shengdun in Washington(China Daily USA)
Senator Mark Kirt (left) and Congressman Rick Larsen discuss the US-China Working Group's role at its 10th anniversary on Wednesday at the US House of Representatives in Washington. [Photo by Chen Weihua / China Daily]
What's the best way to make the politicians on Capitol Hill better understand China?
The US-China Working Group "is an important part of getting US policy-makers in the Congress, especially the House of Representatives, more informed (about China)," said Rep Rick Larsen, Democrat from Washington State and co-chair of the US-China Working Group.
Larsen was one of three co-chairs that spoke at the group's 10th anniversary celebration on June 10 at the US House of Representatives.
The US-China Working Group is a bipartisan effort to educate lawmakers about China-related issues. They do it by holding monthly meetings and briefings, organizing trips to China and hosting courses.
Courses like its China 101 attracted 110 Congressional staff members.
Larsen discussed some of the important issues the US is eager to discuss at the upcoming US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, including the rebound of China's economy, market access to China for US technology, the bilateral investment treaty, cooperation on clean energy and security issues.
The two other co-chairs - Sen Mark Kirt, a Republican from Illinois, and Rep Charles Boustany, a Republican from Louisiana - spoke at the event as well.
Boustany said that for now, the key to cementing US-China relations is to build up commercial ties and improve the military-to-military relationship between the two countries.
The speakers all expressed great hopes for more collaboration between the world's two largest economies. They also acknowledged that the current level of engagement was still insufficient.
"We have to do a lot more to sustain the relationship, on all levels," Boustany said. "We're going to have to do a lot more if we're going to put this relationship in the position where it needs to be."
Larsen said he finds China very slow in implementing its commitments. "The Chinese apparatus does not move fast enough for US policy-makers," he said.
He believes this contributes to the recent frustrations over the discussions on a bilateral investment treaty.
Liu Jingyang in Washington contributed to this story.