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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Speaker Pelosi to visit China: Chinese state media

May 23, 2009

By Kalsang Rinchen
Phayul
May 21, 2009

Dharamsala May 21 -- Speaker of the US House of
Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, will visit China
this month, Chinese state media said Thursday.

A long time supporter of the Tibetan cause and a
friend of the Dalai Lama, Pelosi had been a
target of Beijing’s ire for her criticism of the
communist regime’s human rights record in Tibet.

Pelosi will lead a delegation from the US
Congress that will arrive on Sunday and stay in
China until May 31, according to Xinhua.

Pelosi was the only major international official
to meet the Dalai Lama at the latter’s residence
amidst growing unrest in Tibet that began on
March 14 in Lhasa and later spread to other
provinces. She had also issued a statement
criticizing the Chinese government’s handling of
the protests saying: “The violent response by
Chinese police forces to peaceful protesters in Tibet is disgraceful.”

Speaking in March last year in Dharamsala, Pelosi
said she joined the Tibetans at "a sad time" in
order to shed "the bright light of truth" on the situation in their homeland.

Describing the Dalai Lama as "the embodiment of
non violence," Pelosi called for "an independent,
outside investigation" after China accused the
Dalai Lama of masterminding the Tibet unrest. She
challenged the world to "speak out against Chinese oppression."

"If freedom-loving people throughout the world do
not speak out against Chinese oppression in China
and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to
speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the
world," she said in her address to a gathering in Dharamsala last year.

On April 3, 2008, Pelosi introduced House
Resolution 1077, which calls on "China to cease
the crackdown, release protestors, provide
unfettered access to journalists and independent
international monitors to Tibet, and engage in a
results-based dialogue with the Dalai Lama."

Pelosi is the first ever woman speaker of the US
House of Representatives, and is currently
serving her second consecutive term.
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