President Obama has no shortage of things to discuss with Hu Jintao, who arrived in Washington yesterday—starting with the fate of Liu Xiaobo. Chinese human rights advocates urged Obama to “publicly and privately” press for Liu’s release, according to the Guardian, and that call was echoed by House Human Rights Committee Chairman Chris Smith, who told Reuters it would be “almost unthinkable” that a Nobel laureate like Obama to meet with “a political leader responsible for jailing another laureate” and not demand his release.
Of course, Obama will also have a variety of economic issues to discuss, which have become thornier than ever, the New York Times observes. This time, Obama won’t just be discussing China’s cheap currency, he’ll be addressing complaints from US companies that they’re being locked out of the Chinese market by policies favorable to domestic Chinese businesses. Hu, meanwhile, wants to make nice, reports the Times. He's seen as a lame duck who "wants to go out with the country’s most important bilateral relationship intact,” says one diplomat.