The People's Republic of China Legislative Exchange

November 8-16, 2011

Legislators from across the country visited the People’s Republic of China as part of a legislative study tour from November 8-16, 2011. NCSL participants were welcomed by Madame Li Xiaolin, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). Since its establishment, the CPAFFC has aimed to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the Chinese people and those in other countries. The CPAFFC works to build bonds of friendship between the Chinese people and people throughout the rest of the world. Madame Xiaolin’s strong personal ties with the United States meant she was an extremely effective facilitator of discussion with the NCSL participants. She went to University at UCLA and has also served as First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, and Vice President of the China-U.S. People’s Friendship Association..

After the participant’s meeting with Madame Xiaolin, they traveled to the Hutong area in Beijing, where they visited a local family. Hutongs have been around for hundreds of years, and represent an important cultural element to the city of Beijing. Because many have been destroyed to make way for new buildings and roads, most still in existence are protected. Interacting with local Chinese citizens gave NCSL participants a glimpse into what life in China is like for the average citizen, which helped build a well-rounded perspective of governance and culture in China. Friday, November 11, marked the participants’ departure from Beijing and their travel to Xi-an. In Xi-an, the NCSL participants visited a high school and were treated to an official meeting and banquet.

Following their experiences in Xi-an, the NCSL participants departed for Shanghai, where they met with Shanghai’s People’s Congress, and visited the Pudong Foreign Languages School and the Pudong Children’s Hospital. Again, these encounters gave the participants a perspective of Chinese governance from those who are governed. The next day, participants went to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, where Shanghai’s history was explored, and models of planned and recent developments are exhibited.  This gave the NCSL participants a vision of how one of the fastest growing economies in the world is developing.

NCSL looks forward to the next annual exchange in partnership with the CPAFFC. Building the relationship between two of the worlds’ strongest economies will prove increasingly important as globalization continues to impact governments and civil societies across the world. NCSL looks forward to taking part in strengthening the ties between our two nations.

 

Updated November 20, 2011