House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) met with the Vice President of China, Xi Jinping, this morning to discuss the U.S.-China bilateral relationship, economic and trade issues between our two nations, and religious freedom and human rights concerns.
Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor both expressed the U.S. government’s ongoing concerns with reports of human rights violations in China and denial of religious freedom. The Speaker’s staff delivered a letter regarding the plight of Gao Zhisheng, a dissident and human rights lawyer imprisoned in China.
Speaker Boehner said he believes improving the economic relationship between our two countries is important, and he will continue working to do so, but cited deficiencies in China’s enforcement of intellectual property laws as an ongoing barrier to stronger economic ties. Leader Cantor welcomed China’s peaceful rise and encouraged China to play a constructive role in international affairs. He expressed disappointment with the Chinese veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria last week. Leader Cantor also highlighted concerns with Iran’s ongoing pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and encouraged China’s cooperation with international efforts regarding Iran.
The meeting lasted approximately 27 minutes. A high-resolution photo of the meeting can be found here.