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High-level Chinese official Xi Jinping starts a visit today in Washington, DC. He will meet with President Barack Obama before traveling to other parts of the country. Xi is tipped to replace Hu Jintao as Communist Party leader later this year.
The White House will raise concerns over China's human rights problems during Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to the US this week. Xi will likely be chosen by the Central Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party as successor to Party leader Hu Jintao. And the visit, hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden, will see the two sides getting acquainted ahead of the transfer of power in China later this year.
While meeting with reporters on Friday, White House Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Russel said the US will not shy away from raising human rights issues with Xi.
[Daniel Russel, National Security Staff, Senior Director of Asian Affairs]:
"We use every opportunity to urge the Chinese officials and leaders to exercise real restraint and to safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Chinese citizens, including in Tibet. This is an important part of our agenda and there is no reason the conversations with Vice President Xi would depart from our longstanding practices."
In addition to visiting Washington, D.C., Xi Jinping will travel to Iowa and California. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes hopes the trip will give Xi a taste of the values celebrated in the US.
[Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor to President]:
"I think one of the most powerful messages associated with universal rights, I think, is the way which the United States reflects them...and in each place I think he will see very vibrant communities, places that benefit from diversity and places that demonstrate that America lives up to the values