China’s President Hu Jintao was feted with full fanfare at the White House on Wednesday, with a 21-gun salute, honor guards and a state dinner. Things might not be quite so fancy on Thursday when he goes to Capitol Hill.
There he will see Republican Speaker John Boehner in the House of Representatives, then cross the Capitol to meet Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Neither bothered to attend Wednesday’s state dinner.
Also attending the House and Senate meetings will be several other lawmakers who want a word with Hu about human rights in China, as well as China’s dealings with Iran and Chinese trade practices.
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen plans to hand Hu an entire list of complaints in the form of a letter she sent to Obama ahead of the Chinese leader’s visit.
The letter from the Republican complains of Beijing’s “military posturing,” as well as reports that China allowed the trans-shipment of North Korean missile parts to Iran via Beijing aiport. It also calls for the closure of labor camps in China, the release of political prisoners, and “unrestricted religious freedom”.