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President raises human rights issues with Chinese premier

President Michael D Higgins has raised the issue of human rights with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in a very comprehensive way during his official State visit.

Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina were guests of honour at a lavish state dinner by the Chinese President yesterday where they discussed building stronger economic and cultural ties.

The president also noted that human rights should be at the heart of any society. China has long been criticised for the ill-treatment of some of its citizens.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Higgins told journalists that there are very important core human rights but where the conversation began was in relation the UN World Millennium Goals and the right to be free from hunger.

During the meeting in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square Mr Higgins extended an invitation to Mr Jinping to make a return visit to Ireland.

In the early edition of today's Herald, it was stated that "China's appalling human rights record isn't getting a look in" during President Michael D Higgins' official visit. The Herald accepts that this is entirely incorrect and we are happy to clarify the matter and apologise for the error.