In 2000, U.S. lawmakers publicly accused the China Ocean Shipping Co. of being a front for espionage and blocked plans to expand its Long Beach, Calif., port terminal over fears that Chinese spies would use it to snoop on the United States.
By 2009, Congress was seeing the state-owned Chinese behemoth in a far kinder light. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) authored a resolution applauding the company for employing thousands of Americans and helping keep the waters of Alaska clean. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) hailed the firm on the House floor, calling its chief executive "a people's ambassador" to the United States after it rescued Boston's port -- and thousands of jobs -- when a European shipping line moved out.
The congressional about-face illustrates a dramatic increase in China's influence on Capitol Hill, where for years its lobbying muscle never matched its ballooning importance in world affairs. Members of Congress, lobbyists and other observers said
China's strongest backers in Congress are also becoming more vocal, especially the 60-member U.S.-China Working Group, led by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wa.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who represent districts that do considerable trade with China.
"We bought China when it was low," Larsen quipped. "There was nowhere for it to go but up."
"Learn from the Past, Create the Future"
Mark Kirk was a speaker at the Committee of 100's 18th Annual Conference "Learn from the Past, Create the Future" held in Washington DC April 30-May 2, 2009.
U.S. China Relations: Perspectives from the U.S. Congress
Moderator: Ambassador James R. Sasser, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China and Former Senator of Tennessee | Speakers: The Honorable Mark Kirk, 10th District of Illinois Representative, U.S. Congress and co-Chair, U.S.-China Working Group & The Honorable Adam Schiff, 29th District of California Representative, U.S. Congress.
C100 Annual Conference 2016
The list of "official supporters of the Committee of 100 National Conference in April 16 2016, in Beverly Hills included;
- Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of the State of California
- Eric Garcetti, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles
- Cui Tiankai, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States
- Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce
- Cory Gardner, United States Senator
- Mark Kirk, United States Senator
- Ed Royce, Member of Congress, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee
- Charles Boustany, Member of Congress
- Adam Schiff, Member of Congress
- Xavier Becerra, Member of Congress
- Mike Honda, Member of Congress
- Ted Lieu, Member of Congress
- Judy Chu, Member of Congress
- Liu Jian, Council General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles
- Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California State Assembly
- Ed Chau, member of California State Assembly
- Betty Yee, California State Controller
With the 2016 presidential and congressional elections looming on the horizon, AmCham Shanghai traveled to Washington, D.C. for its annual DC Doorknock from September 19-22. The annual AmCham Shanghai DC Doorknock, led by AmCham Shanghai Chairman Ker Gibbs and President Kenneth Jarrett, gives AmCham Shanghai an opportunity to engage with key Washington stakeholders on important issues affecting American businesses in China. In addition to providing an “on the ground” perspective on China, the delegation this year stressed the importance of passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to American companies and the need for the U.S. government to maintain pressure on China regarding cybersecurity concerns, internet controls and limitations, and the slow progress in financial services reform. The delegation also highlighted the positive impact of Chinese direct investment on the U.S. economy.
The first day of the Doorknock saw the AmCham Shanghai delegation calling on the Obama Administration with meetings at the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The administration officials assured the delegation that the Obama Administration was committed to getting TPP passed and urged the business community, when engaged in TPP advocacy, to underline the important impact that TPP has on businesses in China. The delegation also met with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) China Mission Chief, James Daniel, to discuss the IMF’s view of China’s evolving economy.
The following day and a half of the Doorknock was spent on Capitol Hill meeting with more than 40 members of Congress and their staff, including visits to Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) and Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania), Ami Bera (D-California), Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) and Rick Larsen (D-Washington), among others. During these meetings the AmCham Shanghai delegation continued to press for the passage of TPP and noted its importance for American businesses in China and the region more broadly. While some members of Congress remained hopeful that a vote would come up, most of the members and staff felt that it was unlikely to pass, even after the presidential election in November.
Kirk received $10,000 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.
According to Jane Yoo, NAKASEC, the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles participated in the April 10th 2013 “Time Is Now” rally for citizenship and immigration reform. Thousands of immigrants and supporters from across the country gathered to call on Congress for a swift introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Among the participants was 17 year old Faustin Combe, a FYSH and KRCC member from Chicago who shared her painful story of being separated from her father and brother who are currently in the Philippines. Joining her was HyunKyu Lee, a recent DACA recipient, undocumented youth and organizer with KRC who also spoke in Asian American and Pacific Islander press conference with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and Senator Mazie Hirono and Reps. Judy Chu Congressman Mike Honda.
During the main immigration rally, Son Ah Yun, executive director of NAKASEC spoke to the crowd about the impacts of the broken immigration system on Asian American communities and the need for immigration reform. She said, “We are tired of being separated from our families through long backlogs and deportations. We are tired of women being an afterthought. We are tired of our young people unable to go to school. We are tired of immigrants being treated as criminals and living in fear.”
In the morning, NAKASEC participants also delivered 1,267 signatures in support of family unity to offices of the “Gang of 8” Senators, as well as to Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), John Campbell (R-CA) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
- The Washington Post January 9, 2010 Saturday Suburban Edition, As China rises, so does its influence on the Hill; Increased lobbying, growing role in U.S. economy yield new warmth from Congress BYLINE: John Pomfret SECTION: A-SECTION; Pg. A01]
- [https://www.amcham-shanghai.org/en/article/amcham-shanghai-goes-washington ECONOMY14 - OCT - 2016 AmCham Shanghai Goes to Washington Recap of AmCham Shanghai’s four-day DC Doorknock By AMCHAM Shanghai]
- NAKASEC April 11, 2013 Contact: Jane Yoo, NAKASEC, 202.630.4013