As Congress kicks off its two-week-long spring recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and nine other senators are taking a week-long trip to China, Reid’s office announced Monday.
Reid, six other Democratic senators and three Republicans arrived in Hong Kong on Monday. According to Reid’s office, the group will travel to Beijing; Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in southwest China; and Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China. The senators are slated to meet with Chinese government officials to discuss energy, trade, foreign policy, currency and human rights issues. They will also visit clean energy project sites, Reid’s office said.
The other senators traveling with Reid are Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
It was not immediately known whether the delegation would meet with U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who is mulling a run for president after he returns to the U.S. early next month.
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who made a surprise visit to Baghdad on Saturday, is leading a six-member delegation to Pakistan, his office announced Monday. The other members traveling with Boehner are Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.).
The group met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani; Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan’s army chief; and U.S Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, according to Boehner’s office.
In a statement, Boehner said that the delegation had “frank and productive discussions” with the Pakistani leaders.
“While the relationship between our two countries has seen its challenges, we discussed the importance of working through these issues and renewing our partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” Boehner said.
The trip is Boehner’s first since becoming speaker in January.