A high-powered “US Senate delegation to China helped build ‘mutual trust’ in talks on human rights, economic disputes, clean energy, and Iran’s suspect nuclear drive, its leader said Tuesday,” according to the AFP.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who headed the 10-member group, said the week-long visit’s "primary focus" had been to secure "a level playing field" for US businesses in China.
"The world needs its two largest economies to work together. We have to communicate and build mutual trust," Reid said in a statement issued after the group returned home. "Our meetings in China helped improve that relationship."
At the same time, Reid said, "our experience there was an unmistakable reminder of just how hard we have to work to make American more competitive with the rest of the world."
The lawmakers met with parliamentary chief Wu Bangguo and Vice President Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao as China’s top leader by 2013, as well as outgoing US Ambassador Jon Huntsman and US business executives in China.
The senators urged Beijing to be "more aggressive" in letting the yuan gain value against the dollar, amid charges in the US Congress that the Asian giant keeps its currency, and thus its exports, artificially cheap, hurting US exports and stifling job growth.
But "Chinese officials confirmed that China would continue the managed appreciation of its currency," said the statement.