Nov 12, 12:18 AM EST

Chinese President Xi claims huge progress on human rights; still room for improvement

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BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) says China has made enormous progress on human rights, but is acknowledging there's always room for improvement.

Xi was speaking at a joint news conference with President Barack Obama in Beijing. He says he had a candid discussion about human rights during his meetings with Obama.

Xi said China's progress on human rights is recognized by people all over the world. He said through a translator that China stands ready to have a dialogue with the U.S. about human rights based on equality and mutual respect.

He said China protects the freedom of its citizens and also the rights of the media.

White House officials said ahead of Obama's trip that human rights would be high on Obama's agenda for his meetings with Xi.

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