Speaker Pelosi in China, Emboldens Protesters

AP has the latest on Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China, and petitioners who rallied to greet her in Beijing:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, long a fierce critic of Beijing, toured China’s financial capital on Monday on a visit focused on environmental issues rather than human rights, though her presence emboldened protesters.

Pelosi took a low-key approach as she prepared for meetings in Beijing just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square democracy protests.

[…] Still, the leading Democratic lawmaker’s reputation as a strong human rights defender galvanized petitioners in Beijing, where several hundreds gathered Monday morning near the capital’s South Railway Station to air their grievances. Dozens of police stood guard and most protesters were kept behind police lines.

While many complaints were about individual cases, photos posted on the Chinese-language Web site Boxun.com, a U.S.-hosted Web site banned in China, showed one group of demonstrators holding up a black-and-white cloth banner that said: “Welcome Pelosi. Pay close attention to human rights. SOS.”

Speaking to U.S. business figures Monday in Shanghai, Pelosi noted her commitment to human rights issues over the years.

The following video of the petitioners’ protest is from AP:

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