German Chancellor Pushes China Further on Human Rights

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed the need for China to improve human rights as she continues her visit to the country.

Ms. Merkel told a group of Chinese researchers Tuesday that human rights are of very high importance to Germany.

Earlier Tuesday, Ms. Merkel met with a group of Chinese journalists, including one - Li Datong - who was dismissed from his editing position after angering authorities.

Western countries have criticized China for its media censorship and harassment of journalists and minority and religious groups.

The German chancellor says she raised concerns about human rights in talks with China's leaders Monday. She says she told President Hu Jintao that China will face increasing global scrutiny in the run up to next year's Beijing Olympics.

Ms. Merkel also called on China's leaders to do more to protect intellectual property rights and combat climate change.

She arrived in China Sunday and departs for Japan Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.