Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a bipartisan congressional delegation traveled from Beijing to Hong Kong today, where they met with the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, and human and labor rights activists.
The delegation met with Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang to discuss how the United States and Hong Kong can work together to address the global financial crisis and climate change. The delegation and the Chief Executive also discussed the relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China along with the prospects for universal suffrage in Hong Kong in the near future.
The delegation then traveled to the Hong Kong Legislative Council, known as LegCo, for a vibrant exchange with members on many issues, including elections in Hong Kong, climate change, local pollution, H1N1 influenza, and the 20th Anniversary next week of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
"The relationship between the United States and Hong Kong is based on our common values: freedom, entrepreneurship, and respect for the rule of law and human rights," Pelosi said. "The people of Hong Kong have bravely demonstrated their support for universal suffrage, consistent with the 'One Country, Two Systems' framework."
Earlier in the day, Speaker Pelosi and the delegation met with labor activists Han Dongfang and Robin Munro of the China Labour Bulletin, a non-governmental organization that seeks to defend and promote workers' rights in China.
"Han Dongfang and Robin Munro are heroes for the Chinese people," Pelosi said. "They are fighting for a better future to establish the rule of law and rights for Chinese workers at the grassroots level."
In addition to Pelosi, the other members of the congressional delegation are Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), Chairman, Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming; Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Ranking Member, Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming; Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR); and Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA). Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) traveled with the delegation earlier but has now returned home to California.
The delegation traveled to China and Hong Kong this week to meet with national and local government officials, business leaders, students, and environmentalists on many aspects of the U.S.-China relationship, including climate change, clean energy, the global financial crisis, human rights, and international trade.