US to raise human rights when China’s Xi visits

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The White House says it won’t recoil from raising grave human rights concerns during a get-acquainted visit next week by China’s likely future leader.

The senior director for Asian affairs, Daniel Russel, says a U.S. goal of Vice President Xi Jinping’s trip would be for him to understand issues that are important to America, including the situation in Tibet, and freedom of speech and religion.

Russel told reporters Friday: “We don’t sacrifice the important issues for the sake of having a comfortable visit.”

Xi is slated to succeed Hu Jintao as Communist Party leader this fall, then become the nation’s president in spring 2013.

Xi arrives Monday at the invitation of Vice President Joe Biden and will also meet with President Barack Obama.