Hu Faces a Chill on Capitol Hill

You might say lawmakers are a bit unhappy with China
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2011 11:53 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. greets China's President Hu Jintao on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) Last night’s state dinner was fun and all, but now Chinese President Hu Jintao will have to face the music. He hits Capitol Hill today, where lawmakers have been griping about him—specifically, about his country’s economic policies and human rights violations. Sen. Harry Reid called Hu a “dictator” during a recent radio interview, and on CNN, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said China is a “gangster regime that murders their own people and should be treated in that way," the New York Times reports.

Politicians are also irked over China’s artificially low currency exchange rate, which keeps American goods expensive in China while favoring Chinese manufacturers and exporters; several senators are looking to impose penalties for such currency manipulation. “It’s on our jeans, even children’s toys: ‘Made in China,’” moaned a November ad from a House challenger. Today, Hu is scheduled to meet with Reid and John Boehner—neither of whom, tellingly, attended last night’s dinner.

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