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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen turns down invite to State Dinner with China's Hu

The Miami Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee said she turned down the invite to tonight's dinner at the White House "without a moment's hesitation.

"I don't know if it's appropriate as a refugee of Communism to be sitting, with a lot of pomp and chit chat, with a leader who has instituted economic reforms but has not opened the political arena," she said.

The Havana-born lawmaker said she'll see Chinese President Hu Jintao when he visits with Congress Thursday and plans to give him a letter she gave to President Barack Obama outling her issues with China: "He censors the Internet, he has students rounded up, religious minorities are prosecuted."

She said she wouldn't have held a state dinner for Hu: "There are so many leaders who are far more deserving than the leader of a repressive regime."

Here's the guest list. House Foreign Affairs top Democrat, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., made it, along with Senate Foreign Relations chair John Kerry, D-Mass., and ranking Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana. Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, was also invited: "I take the reason I was invited as a statement to President Hu," Roth told reporters as he arrived.

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