In China, media outlets and the Internet are censored. “Human rights should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any nation.”

Mr Obama said that freedom of information, including open access to the internet, was important. In a speech and open question session with Chinese students, President Obama explained his concerns.

“That makes our democracy stronger because it forces me to hear opinions that I don’t want to hear – it forces me to examine what I’m doing,” he said.

He said “the internet was a powerful tool to mobilise people and had helped him win the presidency last year.”

This visit had however only small coverage in Chinese media.