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Historic Congressional Delegation Visits Southwest China


Public Affairs Section

For Immediate Release, April 25, 2011



Historic Congressional Delegation Visits Southwest China 

On Monday, April 25, 2011, an historic delegation of ten United States Senators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), met with Ge Honglin, Mayor of Chengdu, and Dr. Pan Jingong, the CEO of Apollo Solar Energy. 

The meetings, which followed a Sunday briefing at Sichuan University by Peace Corps China Country Director and dozens of volunteers, centered on trade and clean energy.  The meetings aimed to open a candid exchange on China’s rapid development and increasing leadership in the field of clean energy.  

“This has been a very productive trip," Reid said. "The discussions we have had with the Chinese government about global security, currency, and trade have not only been important to our two countries but to the world as well.  I was also impressed by the investment this country is making in clean energy.  China sees clean energy as an important economic investment, and this trip underscored the importance that America should lead the world in this industry to create jobs, diversify our economy, and protect our air."

Never before has such a large delegation visited southwest China.  Representing more than 100 million U.S. citizens and more than a third of the U.S. population, the delegation made their final stop in Sichuan Province, which has a population the size of Germany and a rapidly growing economy already the size of that of Malaysia.

At Peace Corps China’s Headquarters, the delegation voiced support for the dedicated person-to-person diplomacy the 130 U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers – as Peace Corps volunteers are called in China – do on a daily basis.  The Peace Corps serves in three provinces and the municipality of Chongqing in southwest China.

The bipartisan delegation’s ten Senators which also included Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Senator John Isakson (R-GA), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), return to Washington today, concluding their eight-day visit to China.


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