Washington Post said:
About a dozen congressional staffers flew business class on a trip to China last summer and stayed at luxury hotels while touring the Great Wall and the Forbidden City and receiving a “briefing on ancient artifacts and dynasties” at the Shanghai Museum.
The all-expenses-paid visit came courtesy of China. The Chinese government hosted a day of meetings with officials in Beijing followed by eight days packed with outings to destinations often frequented by tourists along with a stop at a missile frigate and two others related to national security — the official theme of the trip.
More and more foreign governments are sponsoring such excursions for lawmakers and their staffs, though an overhaul of ethics rules adopted by Congress five years ago banned them from going on most other types of free trips. This overseas travel is often arranged by lobbyists for foreign governments, though lobbyists were barred from organizing other types of congressional trips out of concern that the trips could be used to buy favor.