Chinese President Hu Jintao says "a lot" still needs to be done to improve human rights in China.
In a White House press conference, Hu said China is a developing country with an enormous population facing challenges in economic and social developments. He said human rights must be viewed under those circumstances.
Still, Hu says China will continue efforts to "improve the lives of our people and promote democracy and rule of law."
His remarks Wednesday came moments after President Barack Obama said the US would push for freedom of speech, assembly and religion for the Chinese people.
Obama says certain rights are universal and "transcend culture." He says China's human rights policies have been a source of tension between the two governments.