US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, fresh from her visit to China, believes that the Asian giant is a country of contradictions -- where there is both progress and oppression.
Pelosi, the first woman speaker of the US lower House, is a vocal critic of China’s human rights issues, a supporter of the Tibetan’s cause and an admirer of The Dalai Lama.
Inspired by Pelosi, the House passed a resolution against the Tiananmen Square massacre 20 years ago in China and on Thursday she will lead a rally at the Capitol against the Chinese military action on innocent students, who were seeking freedom of speech and democratic rights in 1989.
“China is a country of contradictions. You see progress here and you see oppression there. It is how regions deal with these issues. But the fact is that much more needs to be done in terms of religious freedom,” Pelosi said on the floor of the House as the lawmakers debated the resolution in this regard.
Pelosi, who was given a red carpet welcome by the Chinese authorities last week when she visited the country as part of a Congressional delegation, said human rights would continue to be a top US priority in its relationship with China. The United States would continue to speak on human rights and Tibet, she argued.
"The relationship between our two countries is very important economically, security-wise, culturally and in every way. But the size of the economy, the size of the country, and the size of the relationship doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t speak out. I have said that if we don’t speak out about our concerns regarding human rights in China and Tibet, then we lose all moral authority to discuss it about any other country in the world,“ Pelosi argued.
Referring to her China visit, she said: “It afforded me the opportunity to speak about human rights in China and Tibet and congressional concern about it to the President, the Premier and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress.”