Visiting Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao on April 30, 2002 refused to accept letters of concern from four Members of Congress regarding China’s action in Tibet and on human rights.

In a statement on April 30, 2002, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip, who had tried to personally deliver the letters to Vice President Hu, said:

During an official visit this afternoon with bipartisan members of the House leadership, China’s Vice President Hu Jintao talked about the importance of high-level and open discussions between China and the United States on issues of concern. Vice President Hu then refused to accept four letters from Members of Congress delivered by House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi, which raised human rights issues and urged China to release political prisoners.

“I am extremely disappointed that the vice president refused to accept these letters,” said Pelosi. “I had been hopeful that we could at least talk about human rights issues in China and Tibet, but Vice President Hu’s refusal demonstrates how serious the problem remains. China’s human rights abuses continue to be an obstacle in developing the full potential of relations between our two countries.”

A longtime leader on promoting human rights in China, Pelosi tried to hand Vice President Hu four letters expressing deep concern about the detention and imprisonment of those in China and Tibet who have peacefully expressed their political or religious beliefs.

Neither Vice President Hu nor anyone in the Chinese delegation would even touch the letters, which were from:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Pelosi, who asked for the release of 25 Tibetans imprisoned during the Vice President Hu’s tenure as party secretary in Tibet, dating back the imposition of martial law in 1989;

Pelosi, who asked for the release of three political prisoners, Xu Wenli, Wang Youcai and Yang Zili;

Rep. James Maloney (D-Conn.) and Senators Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), who asked for the government to allow Liu Yaping, a permanent legal resident of Connecticut, to receive urgent medical treatment and allow his release on humanitarian grounds.

All 15 member of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation in the House, who asked for the release of American citizen from New Jersey, Fuming Fong, on medical and humanitarian grounds.