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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?"

Pelosi on China visit

May 26, 2009

By ELAINE KURTENBACH
The Associated Press
May 25, 1991

SHANGHAI (AP) -- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
long a fierce critic of Beijing, toured China's
financial center of Shanghai on Monday on a visit
meant to highlight common goals in promoting
clean energy to fight climate change.

Pelosi kept silent on human rights issues -- at
least in public. Her visit comes a week ahead of
the 20th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on the
Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

But she did speak out on North Korea's nuclear
program after Pyongyang announced that it had
successfully carried out an underground nuclear
test, weeks after threatening to restart its rogue atomic program.

"If today's announcement is true, these tests
would be a clear violation of United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1718, which requires
that North Korea not conduct any further nuclear
tests. Such action by North Korea is unacceptable
and cause for great alarm," Pelosi said in a
written statement released through the U.S. Embassy.

Pelosi said she and other members of her
delegation planned to urge Chinese leaders to use
their influence to get the North to return to
six-nation talks on ending its nuclear program.

The Democrat from California arrived over the
weekend accompanied by a delegation of four
Democrats and one Republican, all members of the
House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

The main focus on the visit is clean energy and climate change.

Visits by Pelosi and other senior U.S. figures
highlight cooperation between Beijing and
Washington on a slew of issues. During President
Barack Obama's first few months as president,
Washington has emphasized a desire for engagement
rather than confrontation of human rights issues.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman
and Democrat Sen. John Kerry is also in China,
and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will
arrive next week. He is expected to reassure
Beijing about the strength of the U.S. dollar and
thus the value of China's vast holdings of U.S. Treasury notes.

Pelosi met Monday with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng.
The two exchanged pleasantries but made no
substantive remarks before reporters. The
delegation will later meet in Beijing with
President Hu Jintao and other leaders.

"Ever since President Obama took office,
relations between our two countries have been
progressing very steadily and progressively," Liu
Yungeng, head of the Shanghai Municipal People's
Congress said in welcoming Pelosi's delegation Sunday.

In the past, Chinese officials have been angered
by Pelosi's criticism of Beijing's human rights record.

When Tibetans staged protests against Chinese
rule last year, Pelosi visited their exiled
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. During a 1991
visit to Beijing, she unfurled a banner that read
"To those who died for democracy in China" on
Tiananmen Square, where the military had crushed
pro-democracy protests two years earlier.

Pelosi's visit followed an agreement in March to
expand parliamentary exchanges. That came during
a visit by former Chinese Foreign Minister Li
Zhaoxing, who at times in the past had vehemently
objected to Pelosi's linking of human rights with other issues.

Li was present at both meetings in Shanghai, but made no public comments.

Pelosi is accompanied by Rep. Ed Markey, a
Democrat from Massachusetts and committee
chairman; Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican
from Wisconsin and ranking committee member; Rep.
Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon; Rep. Jay
Inslee, a Democrat from Washington; and Rep.
Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California.
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