US House group to discuss China cooperation
By Xu Binglan (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-13 05:48
Founders of the United States House of Representatives' China Working Group
are in China for their first visit since the establishment of the group last
Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, and Rick Larsen, a Democrat from
Washington State, said they will discuss with their Chinese hosts economic and
other issues including possible co-operation on space programmes.
Kirk said the US and China could investigate possible co-operation
opportunities to enable their astronauts to help each other in emergencies.
Kirk and Larsen and their entourage began their visit on Monday in Beijing,
they will also visit Shanghai and the satellite-launching centre in Jiuquan in
Northwest China's Gansu Province during their 10-day stay.
They have met Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing
Committee, Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan, and senior economic officials.
Kirk said the tour would also be an educational opportunity for them.
"I feel we (the US congressman) need to educate ourselves more about China,"
he said on Wednesday during a lunchtime speech organized by the American Chamber
of Commerce in China.
He said part of the feeling came from the reflection on the highly
controversial case of Chinese offshore oil company CNOOC Ltd's bid to take over
American company Unocal.
CNOOC dropped the bid due to heavy opposition from many US legislators.
However, a number of facts that many "emotional" opponents used were actually
not true, said Kirk.
He said the 35-member China Working Group of the House aims to build stronger
political and economic relations with China.
He said that Chicago, the largest city in his home State of Illinois, plans
to hold a Year of China in 2010.
Chicago plans to make a bid to host the 2016 Olympics, Kirk said.
In addition, the city also wants to learn from Beijing's experiences from
bidding and hosting the Olympics.
(China Daily 01/13/2006 page2)