Senator Mazie Hirono and Senator Mark Kirk meet with Hon. Ambassador Cui Tiankai on October 8th, 2013. Image: Office of Senator Kirk

U.S. Senators Mark Kirk and Mazie Hirono discuss the formation of Senate U.S.-China Working Group

Asia China

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (IL) and Mazie Hirono (HI) met with Hon. Cui Tiankai, China’s Ambassador to the United States, to discuss the future of U.S.-China relations and the establishment of the Senate U.S.-China Working Group. A bipartisan House of Representatives U.S.-China Working Group was created in June 2005 by then Representative Kirk and Representative Rick Larsen in order for Congress to both conduct a dialogue and engage in a working relationship with China.

The House U.S.-China Working Group has introduced initiatives such as ‘U.S.-China Competitiveness Agenda’ in 2009 and 2010. This agenda included four pieces of legislation that focused on export promotion, diplomatic infrastructure, energy cooperation, and domestic Chinese language instruction. In March 2013, the House U.S.-China Working Group issued a detailed report on issues facing the bilateral relationship following the group’s delegation to China. Some of the issues included U.S.-China business partnerships, regional security in Asia, and economic reform and rebalance in China.

At their meeting with Hon. Ambassador Cui Tiankai, Senators Kirk and Hirono discussed issues regarding global economic recovery, bilateral trade, military cooperation, and enhancing people-to-people ties. Senator Kirk remarked that,

“The U.S. and China grow more interdependent every day and we need a nuanced policy that reflects this 21st century reality. The Senate U.S.-China Working Group will create a space for Senators to hold open and frank dialogue with Chinese leaders on all issues of mutual concern.”

The Senate U.S.-China Working Group is planned for launch in late 2013.