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Pelosi Raises Human Rights Concerns in China

By Paul Kane
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a longtime critic of the Chinese government, met over the weekend with a Catholic priest in Shanghai who spent nearly three decades in prison. She also sought to link human rights causes to the effort to reduce carbon emissions in the world's most polluted nation.

The California Democrats' actions during her week-long trip to China amounted to most outspoken critique offered by a U.S. official on mainland China since President Obama took office in January. However, Pelosi's moves were not likely to spark much anger among her official Chinese hosts, given the venues she chose to voice her displeasure with Beijing.

Pelosi met on Sunday with Catholic Bishop Jin Luxian, who spent 27 years in prison until his release in 1982, to discuss religious freedom. While he was once part of the insurgent wing of Catholic priests fighting Mao Zedong's regime for freedom to worship in the 1950s, Jin has since become a controversial figure in the global Catholic movement because of his willingness to work within the confines of the officially sanctioned Catholic Church in China. Jin is now the bishop of Shanghai.

"We were honored to meet with Bishop Jin and listen to his wise words about religious freedom in China, his relationship with Catholic leaders around the world, and the challenges of misunderstanding and prejudice in the world today," Pelosi, who is Catholic, said in a statement released from Shanghai.

A 2007 profile of Jin in The Atlantic sparked some angry denunciations from other Catholic organizations, who see the true spiritual leader of Chinese Catholics being the late Ignatius Pin-Mei Cardinal Kung.
Like Jin, Kung was imprisoned in the 1950s and released in the mid-1980s, but Kung refused to join the government-run church, which does not recognize papal authority in Rome. So Kung fled to the United States and then Rome, dying in 1999.

Today, at a gathering of the American Chamber of Commerce, Pelosi gave voice to the cause of human rights in China, a decades-old cause of hers. "Protecting human rights has been a top priority for me throughout my career in Congress," she told the U.S. business leaders in Shanghai, according to a transcript sent out by her office. "I will continue to speak out for human rights in China and around the world. Indeed, protecting the environment is a human rights issue. We hope to send a clear message that transparency, accountability, enforcement, and respect for the rule of law are essential if we are to protect our planet,"

Next week marks the 20th annivesary of the Chinese government's attack on dissidents on Tiananmen Square, making this time a highly sensitive juncture for Chinese officials who are trying to tamp down any signs of memorializing the event.

Pelosi's comments put her on a slightly different path than Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who on her maiden voyage to China in February downplayed human rights issues altogether. "We pretty much know what [Beijing is] going to say," Clinton said on the issue of Chinese abuses in Tibet.

Before departing on her trip Pelosi refused repeated entreaties from reporters to discuss human rights issues.

While her actions in Shanghai set her apart from Clinton, Pelosi has toned down her actions from her first years in Congress. In 1991 she was part of a contingent that unfurled a banner memorializing those that had been killed in and around Tiananmen Square in June 1989 when the Chinese military ended a protest movement by firing on college students and other protestors.


By Eric Pianin  |  May 25, 2009; 1:50 PM ET
 
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Comments

Why don't Catholics see a connection between the Church of Rome and the Roman Empire? After all it was a political realization by the Roman Emperor who foresaw the advantage of allying himself with the early Christians to maintain his authority. Somehow judgment gets clouded when one raises the lack of clarity on the part of Christianity and their devotion to their beliefs in both the spiritual and material world. They seem to have an easy response for all questions: it's in the Bible (19.95 Barnes and Noble on sale at Amazon).

If all religions have a common theme of a flood, sacrifice, war, morality, immorality etc how is it we fight over their differences? Tsar Ivan the Terrible was quite the antisemite blaming the death of Jesus on the Jews when clearly this story fits a tradition of the Roman Church itself. Quite a difference when the worlds of power become one.

I'm not sure Pelosi has a clue as to which world she is even living in. Any idea that she went to China to express a ritualistic difference between our Western intolerance and the more obviously more malevolent Red Chinese tyranny is a waste of time. I think she went to discuss our inability to pay the debt we have amassed under Clinton, Bush and now Obama. No change is coming. Call it a church leader or a political leader they're all the same. Fill it with a movie and a book club and before u know it you've got a following. One man's Jesus is another man's Mohamed. What we need is a prescription for listening.

Posted by: KraftPaper | May 25, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It's a pity Ms. Pelosi failed to raise human rights conerns with Chinese government officials since they both committed the abuses and are the only ones with the power to stop them. Another characteristicly weak and misguided move by the Speaker. Perhaps, when she gets back to the U.S. she will hold a presser and blame her half hearted response on the Bush administration and the CIA.

Posted by: TheATLMac | May 25, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Kommander Pelosi is out ordering the World around now?

Instead of listening to the people here on porkulous and bailouts, she and the Hill told us what we wanted.

Instead of letting Clinton do her job, jealous Pelosi is out telling the World what to do.

China might not be so kind to mummy Pelosi ordering them about.
Since they carry over 1/2 of our debt, maybe she should stay here, and face her own human abuse charges.

Posted by: dottydo | May 25, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess we all know why Pelosi went to China. Was this trip after calling CIA liars or before. This is not here job, because;
1) She can't do the one she has,
2) It is wll above her capabilities.
Leave this to those who know something about China.

Posted by: gsms69 | May 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse



"Pelosi Raises Human Rights Concerns in China"

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PULL MY MIDDLE ONE PELOSI... IT SQUIRTS!

Posted by: DriveByPoster | May 25, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse


hey china!

i could be wrong.. but i think i just saw nancy pelosi take an apple without paying for it..

maybe you should WATERBOARD HER until she confesses! and don't worry about her screams of pain or struggles for air, as she APPROVES OF TORTURE.. she has in fact approved of it since 2002.

and make sure you take your time.. you are going to want to do a very thorough job!

so, if you need to keep her for a few years.. no problem!

:D

Posted by: DriveByPoster | May 25, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Next year, Pelosi will accuse Chinese Intelligence of not briefing her fully on the lack of religious freedom in China.

"Liberty" issues to work on at home Nancy, no need to travel all that way to throw stones in a glass house.

Want to help on global warming? Skip the 12,000 mile roundtrip executive jet flight and issue a press release next time.

Posted by: KPinSEA | May 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

How much did that meaningless trip cost the tax payers. She accomplished what? Having Kung Poa Chicken with a Chinese priest who’s influence in China is negligible. She could have had that meal on 7th street in DC. God, she’s worthless.

Posted by: genbarlow | May 25, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Sure send Pelosi off on a "secretary of state" mission to keep her lying, botox paralyzed face out of public view.

I remember when she donned a head scarf and took her little shadow presidency trip to Syria during the Bush admin.. Can you imagine the laughing that went on after that San Francisco shrew left. She should have been impeached or even prosecuted then.

Its different this time though. She was actually sent to keep her out of sight out of mind...

By far the worst speaker and one of the worst "representatives" in U.S. history

Posted by: Straightline | May 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

When Pelosi talks like this, why do I get the image of a little chihuahua yipping at a giant bear?

The bear doesn't care, and it just seems to annoy everybody else.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | May 25, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

** China, the human right lover
* Contrary to popular belief, it is a fact.
30 years ago, many Chinese died of starvation, did not have a roof over their heads…
Not any more now.
Are these the basic human rights?

* Why you’re lied to.
The media wants to create controversy to sell their stuffs.
The politician wants to establish a common enemy, so you ignore more important problems that they cannot fix.
The offense companies have more reason to expand.
They all assume you are stupid and cannot analyze.

* Why US is human right violator.
How many we killed and how many Chinese killed abroad last year?
How many innocent people we have to kill in Iraq before we stop?
How many national guards are sent to the killing field against their will??
Should we destroy another country accusing them to have ‘mass destruction weapons’?
Why it is OK for us to own nuclear weapons that can destroy the entire world with a push of a button?
How many citizens die of obesity as we encourage “good” food?
How many poor remain to be poor for generations due to our generous welfare system?
How many our children are killed every year due to our lack of gun control law?
Gun control is not even an issue for both political parties.
How many teenage mothers we encourage starting from the top politicians?
How many Indians stay in their reservation forever and got drunk by not providing them with jobs?
How we use up the world’s oil and blame China who uses less than ¼ of ours per capita?
In addition, a good portion of China’s oil is used to manufacture our stuffs that we do not really need.
How we blame China for military expenditure while ours is 10 times theirs?
How we encourage our citizens to spend on credit and buy houses we cannot afford until the entire financial system collapses?
When special interest groups donate millions to politicians, how can they make unbiased decisions for us?

The list is endless.

China has its own problems and we have our own. Let each work on her problems and we’ll have a better world.

Your yardstick is good for your country but not mine, and China’s yardstick is comparing China 30 years ago. It is laughable to use the yardstick of a developed country (US) to measure a developing country (China), and vice versa. Depending on which yardstick you’re using, China could be a human right lover and US a violator – that could sound funny!

Posted by: TonyP44 | May 25, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

WTG Pelosi!!! Go to CHINA, as a GUEST and put your magnifying glass up to their faults and tell 'em all about it. Then come back and tell us how RUDE Bush was why dontcha?

I wonder when First Lady Michelle is going to say something, and what if anything she does have to say to the Chinese....

Too bad what ever she does say will probably be negated by Pelosi's presence, this being Pelosi's show (GEEZ!). Pray for their safety everyone. No telling how ticked off Chinese Leaders will get at the insult of us allowing Pelosi to do this.

Mr. Prez, get our First Lady home before next week. Pelosi they can keep.

Posted by: alaskansheilah | May 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

so what are they saying about global warming and human rights. its OK for a Chinese citizen who wants freedom from the communist to be run over by a tank. but not breath carbon in the air i am sure they will be relived that we took such a tough stand for them on human rights i think they are really there to sell the Chinese government the white house if they didn't already

Posted by: getsix1 | May 25, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Stow it, Nancy. The Chi-coms are your ideological friends. Don't get all sentimental now. No doubt you'd like to run some Republicans over with a tank.

Posted by: enaughton27 | May 25, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi is giving the last kick to the bucket.

Posted by: coqui44 | May 25, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

The Speaker is a professional China hater and has no business insulting them - just declare the witch "persona non grata" which means an unwelcome person.

Her judgment, tact, and self-control is even worse than Joe Biden. Somebody take her passport, please.

Posted by: alance | May 25, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same person who said that the CIA mislead/lied to Congress and went to China to duck the heat? She rates right up there with Janet "Canada caused 9/11" N, and Hillary "Lickety Splt" Clinton. Yes, we are served well by these individuals.

Posted by: zendrell | May 25, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Nancy needs to read the US Constitution. She is only a congressman, and no more. She is not an ambassador, a maker of foreign policy nor is she part of the executive branch. The powers of the congress are clearly defined in this soon to be obsolete document that our founding fathers created for us.

She truly believes she is a privileged celebrity. It's women like her who give a bad name to all women who have to work for a living and want to succeed and aspire to higher positions. She has taken power that is not rightfully hers.

WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS DITZY BROAD. She needs to be stopped.

Posted by: WindyCity | May 26, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi and human rights...??

What's with hypocrites that do not have the guts to speak out on atrocities by the Bush adminstration let alone call for an impeachment of the club of liars..Cheney et al..
What about the human rights as exercised by the Israeli regime in the West Bank and the Gaza concentration camp?

Pelosi is probably trying to feel important and making waves where the listener has the right to say " Beggars have little choices"

Posted by: callaspadeaspade | May 28, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelusi is right.Since when have these United States of Anmerica ever want along with Communist China and its human killing machine.We are talking about a coutry that takes the third child born to a couple and kill it as a way of controling its population.A country that shoot people in the head for any crime,then sell their body parts on the open market,not giving the family a chance to bury it love ones.It is time we CAP TRADE and stop making this Commuist Dictator Super powerful.

Posted by: apez54 | May 28, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

NANCY PELOSI ! will be shocked when she cares and dares to ask the involved and informed CHINESE LEADERS what has been perpetrated & perpetuated all the way from 1975 - 2009 upon the serious society serving PATEK WORK PARTY over all the years in CHINA & AUSTRALIA & ASIA ! This is truly a terrible HUMAN RIGHTS CRIME involving Human Lives and Great Values and this long GRAND CRIME GAME also involves highest level international Public Trust People and even TOP USA MEN to this very day ! Yes truly the IMPOSSIBLE - ISPOSSIBLE and the evidence is now with the Face of Trust the USA President Barack Obama for Action ! Michael Patek - Canberra - Australia !

Posted by: srs818michaelpatek | May 29, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

I wish the Chinese would ask Pelosi what human rights or religious freedom hippies have in the United States.

Posted by: harris512 | May 29, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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