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D.C. mayor heading to China on economic mission

Thursday - 6/21/2012, 12:25pm  ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray is heading to China for a weeklong trade mission, his first overseas trip as mayor.

Gray departs Saturday and will stop in Beijing, Shanghai and the picturesque river town of Suzhou (SOO-JOO). He'll be accompanied by economic development officials from his administration. Sixteen representatives of the private sector and academia are also making the trip, paying their own way.

The timing is good for the beleaguered mayor, who has been battered by questions about whether he'll finish his term following guilty pleas last month by two campaign aides.

But the district's political scandals have had little if any impact on its booming commercial real estate market and swelling tax base. Officials see the China trip as a way to drum up even more business.

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