Senators and Ambassador Discuss Bilateral Relations, Launch of Senate US-China Working Group
WASHINGTON â€“ U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) today met with China’s Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, to discuss opportunities and challenges across U.S.-China relations, including the planned launch of the Senate U.S.-China Working Group later this fall.
â€œAs the world’s two largest economies and energy consumers, the United States and China face numerous opportunities for cooperation, but also numerous challenges to overcome,” said Senator Kirk, who co-founded the House U.S.-China Working Group in 2005 with U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.). Â “The U.S. and China grow more interdependent every day and we need a nuanced policy that reflects this 21st century reality. Â 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 senators’ discussion with Ambassador Cui touched on a wide range of issues, including the continued global economic recovery, bilateral trade issues, military cooperation and enhancing people-to-people ties.
According to the U.S. China Business Council, China is Illinoisâ€™ third largest export market. In 2012, Illinois exported $6 billion worth of goods to China â€“ more than a 400 percent increase over the past decade. Â Crops are the top Illinois export to China, accounting for $2.4 billion in 2012. Â The Illinois Soybean Association estimates that 25% of U.S.’ soybeans are exported to China.