Shhh: Pelosi mum on human rights before China trip

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who collided with Chinese authorities in 1991 when she unfurled a banner memorializing those who died in the square, arrived here Sunday saying only that she planned to discuss climate change with Chinese officials.

At a briefing in Washington before leaving for her week-long trip, Pelosi declined to say whether she planned to discuss human rights with her hosts. Instead, she said only that she would focus on securing support for a global pact on reducing carbon emissions, in advance of a major international gathering on climate change scheduled for December in Copenhagen.

“We have to . . . learn from each other as we go forward. So that is the subject,” she told reporters, ignoring several requests to address human rights issues…

Throughout her 22 years in Congress, Pelosi — whose home district of San Francisco includes a large number of Chinese immigrants and their families — has championed the cause of human rights in China. Before she became a congressional leader, she cited the Tiananmen massacre as cause for the Clinton administration to link human rights issues to normalizing trade relations with China. But in 1994, President Bill Clinton rejected that argument and delinked from the human rights issue what was then known as the most-favored-nation status. Pelosi protested the decision, to no avail.