Members of Congress, Reflecting U.S. Public Fears, Greet China’s Hu Coolly


Members of Congress, Reflecting U.S. Public Fears, Greet China’s Hu Coolly

Bloomberg – Members of Congress, their constituents worried about economic competition from China, are using President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington to castigate his government and press for strong action against it.

Their approach is in contrast to that of President Barack Obama, who is working to strengthen ties with the world’s second-largest economy, and highlights the political potency of criticizing China at a time of economic anxiety at home.

Three of the four top congressional leaders skipped Obama’s state dinner last night for Hu — the first in more than 13 years for a Chinese president. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did attend, while aides to Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky cited scheduling conflicts.

Hu, 68, met at the Capitol with House leaders, including Boehner and Pelosi, for almost an hour today. Later, Reid welcomed Hu to a meeting with lawmakers including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry of Massachusetts and Richard Lugar of Indiana, the panel’s ranking Republican.

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