The Obama administration has faced some criticism for not appearing more forceful in protesting human rights abuses in autocratic countries like China and Russia. But Obama has insisted the "frank and candid assessments" of China's record on human rights will continue.
Several top lawmakers have refused to attend tonight's state dinner with Hu. Republican House Speaker John Boehner will not attend, nor will Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who earlier Wednesday called Hu a "dictator."
China has largely rejected criticism on human rights and defended its domestic policies as matters of sovereignty that should not be subjected to outside interference.