(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today announced the appointment of Washington state Senator Patty Murray to chair the United States-China Inter-Parliamentary Group (IPG).   The IPG is the official dialogue mechanism between the US Senate and the Chinese government.  The IPG discusses bilateral relations between the two nations including trade, international security, human rights and energy issues.  The ultimate goal of the group is to look for areas of cooperation and enhance dialogue.

“I am honored to take on this important new responsibility of improving the inter-governmental dialogue between our two nations.  Washington state has a long and unique history with China that is valued on both sides.

“What I've seen time and again in working with China is that relationships matter.  I believe we must have an open door and acknowledge that there are going to be disagreements and conflicts but that the way to resolve them is through discussion and engagement.
“My standard has always been to ask what's best for the United States – what's in our economic, strategic, military, and security interests?  From my work with China over the years, I'm convinced that engagement is the best course.  I look forward to this new challenge and to working in the best interests of our state, nation and partnership with China.”

In 2006, Senator Murray took part in an IPG trip to China headed by Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI).  Read about Senator Murray's 2006 trip to China.


Senator Reid’s statement appointing Senator Murray to head the IPG follows: 

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009
CONTACT:    Jim Manley, (202) 224-2939


Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today regarding the appointment of Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray as Chair of the US-China Inter-Parliamentary Group (IPG):

“Today, I appointed Senator Patty Murray as the Chair of the US-China Inter-Parliamentary Group (IPG).  In her role as Chair of the IPG, Senator Murray will meet with leaders in the Chinese government to discuss critical issues with top ranking legislative officials.  This group represents the Senate at the highest level in its interaction with China.

“Under Senator Murray’s leadership, this group will address economic issues, international issues, trade, human rights and religious freedom among other important issues in the US-China relationship.  I am hopeful that the IPG can help to foster a stronger, healthier long-term relationship with the Chinese government.  Given her long history of working for stronger trade and intergovernmental relations with China, I have great confidence in Senator Murray’s ability to be an effective voice for positive developments in US-China relations going forward.”