Harry Reid leading nine other U.S. senators, and others, in a tour of China last week didn’t get much attention in the nation’s press, so it turned out to be a rather secretive affair, notes Grumpy Editor.
That’s probably the way the Nevada Democrat wanted it.
However, an April 20 news release (during the China tour) from the senate majority leader’s office mentioned the week-long trip “centered on trade, currency, cooperation on global security, human rights and clean energy.”
But missing were mentions of typical tourist attractions such as a side trip to Macau, complete with fancy lunch at the MGM Macau, to see the gambling center.
Accompanying Reid were Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), Michael Bennet, (D., Colo.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) and Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) and Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) plus spouses, select staffers and foreign service officers.
The secretive journey was labeled as such for “security concerns.” The itinerary was kept confidential. Usually, with security concerns, spouses are left behind.
But it was more likely “hush-hush” to limit discussion of the entourage’s accommodations and destinations in the taxpayer-funded tour.
Reid made sure his PR staff last Wednesday issued a news release pointing out the group met in Beijing with Wang Qishan, vice premier of China; Yang Jiechi, China's foreign minister, and Zhou Xiaochuan, president of the People's Bank of China.
The news release also quoted Reid saying, "The relationship between the United States and China is important for our two nations, but it is also important for the world.”
It also mentioned Reid declaring, “Never before has a Senate delegation this large, representing more than 100 million Americans and more than a third of the American population, traveled to China.”
Some additional light was shed on the trip via the Las Vegas Sun which last Tuesday reported, “The visit is officially a fact-finding mission with no immediate promise of any new business ventures, although the group will be doing ‘site visits of American investments and clean energy projects in Chengdu, Beijing and Xi’an,’ according to Reid’s office.”
Reid’s constituents in Nevada will be awaiting a detailed report, hopefully before the next election, on his fact findings in China on “trade, currency, cooperation on global security, human rights and clean energy" --- and especially the benefits to the Silver State.