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Hu concedes China needs human rights advances

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Hu concedes China needs human rights advances

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The president of the world’s only superpower has been meeting the leader of its fastest-rising rival at the White House.

America’s Barack Obama is hosting China’s Hu Jintao, with the emphasis firmly on co-operation.

But thorny topics were raised as they faced reporters, with the Chinese President failing to respond to an initial question about human rights. When asked a second time, he said “a lot still needs to be done” in China, while insisting that enormous progress has been made.

Earlier, Hu had been welcomed with all the pomp and ceremony befitting a four-day state visit.

It has started with the two countries unveiling 33 billion euros worth of export deals seemingly aimed at papering over deep rifts about trade and security.