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US lawmakers knock Xi for 'persistent' China rights abuses

US lawmakers including presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio wrote Communist leader Xi Jinping on Thursday’s anniversary of the Tiananmen square crackdown, saying China’s continued rights abuse is a “barrier” to improved bilateral ties. In a letter marking the 26th anniversary of the military’s deadly crushing of pro-democracy protests in central Beijing, Rubio and congressman Christopher Smith also urged Xi to release all prisoners of conscience prior to his September visit to the United States.

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