| WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- President Hu Jintao rounded off his visit to Washington by telling business leaders and lobbyists China and the United States have growing common interests.
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Hu's speech to a lunch given by the U.S.-China Business Council and the National Committee on United States-China Relations was his final event in the capital after earlier meetings with members of Congress, The Washington Post reported. He planned to spend two days in Chicago before heading home.
"It is fair to say our countries have never enjoyed such broad, common interests or shouldered such broad responsibilities as we do today", Hu said.
Hu referred to the United States as "the world's largest developed country" and to his own as the largest developing country.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who is Chinese-American, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who negotiated President Nixon's opening to China almost 40 years ago, also spoke.
In the morning, Hu met with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and nine other lawmakers. He later met privately with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who called Hu a dictator earlier this week, and three other senators.
Boehner said the topics at the House meeting included the economic relationship between China and the United States, intellectual property issues and human rights, including China's abortion policy, USA Today reported.
"When it comes to guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of all her citizens, including and especially the unborn, Chinese leaders have a responsibility to do better, and the United States has a responsibility to hold them to account", Boehner said in a statement after the meeting.
Reid and Hu both appeared cordial as they posed for pictures, Politico reported. News media were told no questions would be taken before a meeting with Reid, Hu and senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Dick Lugar, R-Ind., and John Kerry, D-Mass. Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor and current ambassador to China, also attended.
Reid told KSNV-TV, Las Vegas, Tuesday: "I am going to go back to Washington tomorrow and meet with the president of China. He is a dictator. He can do a lot of things through the form of government they have.
"Maybe I shouldn't have said dictator", Reid said a moment later, "but they have a different type of government than we have -- and that is an understatement." - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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