Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be in China on a trade mission later this month during the Values Voter Summit — known for its presidential straw poll — but Pawlenty will still speak at the event by video.

Last year, Pawlenty made his speaking debut at the Values Voter Summit, and he finished third in the straw poll behind former Govs. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

Originally, Pawlenty was not planning to speak at this year's summit, sponsored by the conservative Family Research Council, because he will be out of the country. But he was added to the schedule this week after the video arrangement was made, according to FRC officials.

The event is a showcase of potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates, as Romney, Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence are confirmed speakers, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and South Dakota Sen. John Thune have been invited.

Rep. Michele Bachmann will be the other Minnesotan speaking at the summit.

Gearing for a potential presidential run, Pawlenty has been courting “values voters” recently with several stances on national issues, including a decision this week to accept federal money for abstinence-only sex education — but a separate federal grant that provided information on contraception and disease prevention.

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