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Hu Hears Criticism From U.S. Lawmakers

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, at a joint press conference in Washington on January 19.
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with some of his fiercest critics today when he held meetings with top U.S. lawmakers.

During the second day of his state visit, Hu met with Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, as well as with senators Richard Lugar, John Kerry, and John McCain.

Reid, who had earlier in the week referred to Hu as a "dictator," on January 19 refused to attend the state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House evening for Hu.

After today's meeting, Boehner issued a statement welcoming deeper economic ties with China, but said he expressed to Hu his strong objections to the lack of human rights in China and its one-child policy that includes forced abortions.

For his part, Hu today urged "mutual respect" and cooperation but warned the United States to respect Beijing's sovereignty over Taiwan and Tibet.

At a luncheon with senior officials and business leaders, Hu said that Taiwan and Tibet "concern China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and they represent China's core interests."

Hu also said that his country had no interest in pursuing an arms race or seeking "hegemony" in the world.

compiled from agency reports