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Clinton Urges China To Improve Human Rights

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged China to release dissidents including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, saying that human rights problems showed Beijing's "unfulfilled promise."

In a speech ahead of President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States next week, Clinton called on China to improve human rights, which she called "universal."

"We reiterate our call for the release of Liu Xiaobo and the many other political prisoners in China, including those under house arrest and those enduring enforced disappearances," Clinton said.

Liu, a writer, is serving an 11-year prison term for co-authoring a bold petition on political reform.

President Barack Obama will hold a January 19 summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington.

Clinton also said Beijing must end discriminatory commercial practices that leave U.S. firms at a disadvantage.

She said the United States and China will hold a third round of strategic and economic dialogue in Washington this spring.

compiled from agency reports