Chinese President Faces Hilly Welcome On Capitol Hill

(CNN)

After all the niceties of a state dinner at the White House, the reception Chinese President Hu Jintao receives on Capitol Hill Thursday may be a bit chilly in comparison.

Hu is scheduled to meet separately with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner. Neither man attended Wednesday night's dinner in honor of the Chinese leader.

Reid called Hu a "dictator" in a Tuesday television interview, but quickly recanted his words.

"Maybe I shouldn't have said dictator, but they have a different type of government than we have and that is understatement."

"Obviously, he believes strongly in the American political system and our form of government," Jon Summers said. "He also believes that it is important for us to continue our dialogue with the Chinese government about a wide range of issues which are critical to both countries, including our economy, Iran, North Korea."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also did not attend the state dinner. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did, despite being a vocal critic of China on human rights issues.