Sunday February 23, 2020

Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Zhuhai

March 24 – April 3, 2018

The USCPF delegation was the first group of Americans to visit the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), which had not yet been opened to the public.

The USCPF delegation was the first group of Americans to visit the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), which had not yet been opened to the public.

During the spring congressional recess, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation led a congressional staff delegation to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Zhuhai. The delegation included 12 congressional Chiefs of Staff, Legislative Directors, and senior staff. Half the participants were from the Senate and half were from the U.S. House of Representatives. The participants consisted of Republicans and Democrats serving states and districts all across the United States.

The trip highlighted China’s transportation, infrastructure, and development projects, especially those mentioned by President Xi Jinping in his New Year speech. The trip also took place during a critical time in U.S.-China relations. The recent tariffs and developments with North Korea were both important topics discussed during the trip.

The delegation began their trip in Beijing with a meeting at the U.S. Embassy. They spoke with Ambassador Terry Branstad and various foreign service officers about the key issues facing U.S.-China relations and the major priorities for the Embassy in China. The group also met with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs  (CPIFA), the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham China), and students and professors at Tsinghua University.

Next the group travelled to Shanghai. Shanghai is China’s largest city and its financial and economic center. After being designated a Special Economic Zone by the Chinese government, Pudong quickly developed into a thriving urban center. Shanghai is now home to the world’s second-tallest building, the 2,073 ft tall Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also an important seaport and shipping hub. In December, Shanghai’s Yangshan Deep Water Port started trial operations for the world’s largest automated container terminal. The delegation visited the Shanghai Tower and Yangshan Deep Water Port. They also met with students and teachers at the SMIC private school and visited the Urban Planning Museum.

The delegation had the opportunity to experience China’s famed high speed trains during a day trip to Suzhou. Suzhou, with its gorgeous canals and gardens, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in China. It is a leading city on China’s Yangtze River Delta economic zone and is home to scholars, artists, and craftsmen. In addition to the city’s beauty, it is known for its culture and handicrafts, especially its skilled embroidery. While in Suzhou, the group also met with local officials.

The group then went to Zhuhai. Zhuhai is a city located in the Pearl River Delta in Southeast China. It was one of the first Special Economic Zones established during China’s economic reforms in the 1980s and is also a popular tourist destination, often called the Chinese Riviera. Zhuhai faces the island of Macao. In 2009, construction began on an ambitious sea-crossing project connecting Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macao. The bridge, which includes cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel, and reclaimed islands, is set to open this year. The delegation received the privilege of being the first American group to visit and drive on the bridge. In addition the historic bridge visit, the delegation met with local companies, visited a community center, and had dinner with the city’s Vice Mayor and other municipal officials.

The U.S.-China Policy Foundation recognizes the importance of people-to-people exchanges in building a better and more constructive U.S.-China relationship. We hope the participants return to their office with a better understanding of China. We would also like to thank the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA) for their assistance with this trip. More photos of the trip can be found here.


 Ms. Katie Bloodgood, Legislative Director
Representative Jason Lewis (R-MN)

Mr. Brennen Britton, Chief of Staff
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Ms. Emily Burns, Chief of Staff
Representative John Garamendi (D-CA)

Mr. Jefferson Deming, Legislative Director
Representative Bruce Westerman (R-AR)

Mr. Jason Galanes, Chief of Staff
Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Ms. Kelsey Griswold, Legislative Director
Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC)

Ms. Andrea Martin, Senior Policy Advisor
Representative André Carson (D-IN)

Mr. Chandler Morse, Chief of Staff
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Ms. Mary Naylor, Legislative Director
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Mr. Ben Ready, Southeast Area Director
Senator John Thune (R-SD)

Mr. John Sandy, Chief of Staff
Senator James Risch (R-ID)

Mr. Adam Tomlinson, Legislative Director
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)