SHANGHAI – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi toured China's financial center of Shanghai on Monday on a visit meant to highlight common goals in promoting clean energy to fight climate change.
She spoke out on North Korea's nuclear program after Pyongyang announced that it had successfully carried out an underground nuclear test, weeks after threatening to restart its atomic program.
"If today's announcement is true, these tests would be a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which requires that North Korea not conduct any further nuclear tests. Such action by North Korea is unacceptable and cause for great alarm," Pelosi said in a written statement released through the U.S. Embassy.
Pelosi said she and other members of her delegation planned to urge Chinese leaders to use their influence to get the North to return to six-nation talks on ending its nuclear program.
The Democrat from California arrived over the weekend accompanied by a delegation of four Democrats and one Republican, all members of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
The main focus on the visit is clean energy and climate change.
Visits by Pelosi and other senior U.S. figures highlight cooperation between Beijing and Washington on a slew of issues. During President Barack Obama's first few months as president, Washington has emphasized a desire for engagement rather than confrontation of human rights issues.
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and Democrat Sen. John Kerry is also in China, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will arrive next week. He is expected to reassure Beijing about the strength of the U.S. dollar and thus the value of China's vast holdings of U.S. Treasury notes.
Pelosi met Monday with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng. The two exchanged pleasantries but made no substantive remarks before reporters. The delegation will later meet in Beijing with President Hu Jintao and other leaders.
"Ever since President Obama took office, relations between our two countries have been progressing very steadily and progressively," Liu Yungeng, head of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress said in welcoming Pelosi's delegation Sunday.
Pelosi's visit followed an agreement in March to expand parliamentary exchanges. That came during a visit by former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
Li was present at both meetings in Shanghai, but made no public comments.
Pelosi is accompanied by Rep. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts and committee chairman; Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin and ranking committee member; Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon; Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat from Washington; and Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California.