Tales from the Trail

One Washington day is not like another for Mr. Hu

USA-CHINA/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”.

Dalai to Washington special syntax brings

The Dalai Lama, fresh from his controversial meeting with President Barack Obama, greeted the U.S. press corps during a blustery press conference on Thursday outside his Washington hotel, and delivered his pearls of wisdom with a brand of syntax that sometimes leaves listeners scratching their heads.

“Important is truth,” the grinning Dalai Lama told reporters, when asked if he ever got discouraged about China’s implacable resistance to his cause.

“This is not question of justice how soon achieved. Something worthwhile, make attempt. Then, whether materialize this goal within one’s own lifetime or not, it doesn’t matter.”

Who knew the Dalai Lama was a feminist?

World peace came first. But then the Dalai Lama told reporters he brought up to President Barack Obama during their White House meeting the issue of women in leadership roles. USA/

“I also mentioned the female, biologically, more sensitive about others’ pain … about others who are suffering,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said, adding with a laugh that Obama agreed with that sentiment.

“I wish, you see, the amount of leadership more female … should take the leadership role,” he said.

The First Draft: David Letterman and the Dalai Lama

CANADA/This is one of those Washington days that seems to defy a theme. Consider:

Iran is the topic at the Senate Banking Committee, where officials from the State and Treasury departments are set to testify on economic sanctions against Tehran.

Afghanistan is expected to be front and center when President Barack Obama briefs congressional leaders about his Afghan strategy.

Pakistan‘s foreign minister has a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.