Much to the surprise of many observers, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi refused comment on China’s human rights record as she arrived in Beijing today. From the Washington Post:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who collided with Chinese authorities in 1991 when she unfurled a banner memorializing those who died in the square, arrived here Sunday saying only that she planned to discuss climate change with Chinese officials.
At a briefing in Washington before leaving for her week-long trip, Pelosi declined to say whether she planned to discuss human rights with her hosts. Instead, she said only that she would focus on securing support for a global pact on reducing carbon emissions, in advance of a major international gathering on climate change scheduled for December in Copenhagen.
“We have to . . . learn from each other as we go forward. So that is the subject,” she told reporters, ignoring several requests to address human rights issues.