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Obama greets China's Xi with friendly words

world Updated: Feb 15, 2012 01:32 IST

President Barack Obama pressed Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping on Tuesday over his country's huge trade surpluses with the United States and vowed to keep pressure on China to improve its human rights record.

In White House talks, Obama sought to reassure Xi that Washington welcomed China's "peaceful rise" but made clear that tensions remain in a growing economic and military rivalry between the two countries.

Xi's visit was the centerpiece of a US trip that may help him boost his international standing and show he is capable of steering his country's crucial relationship with Washington.